Splitting Firewood and Personal Evangelism?

I love the sound, aroma, and warmth of a nice fire.  But such requires work- lots of work.  For me, this means felling the tree, sawing it up, loading it on the trailer, and hauling it back to the house.  But this isn’t the end, as it still has to be split into pieces that can be easily stacked, and eventually put into the fireplace.  I’ve labored at these tasks most of my life to be able to enjoy the soothing, crackling warmth of a fire.  I should probably mention that I’ve never owned a hydraulic wood splitter- though I have borrowed one occasionally for especially big jobs.  Instead, I usually split firewood the old-fashioned way: with wedges and a splitting maul.  Recently, it occurred to me that there are some lessons to be learned from splitting firewood this way that might be comparatively beneficial to breaking open the sometimes-tough exteriors of people, and laying bare their hearts, with the power of the gospel.  So, think with me for a moment about splitting wood and personal evangelism…

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Modulation or Transformation?

Have you ever thought, said, or heard it said, “So N. So is such a good man, he really only needs to be baptized- he wouldn’t have to change much of anything about his life.”  I’ve been guilty of thinking that about some people.  But unfortunately, this type of reasoning tends to either be derived from or contribute to some false notions about baptism…

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Denying Self

“If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” Matthew 16:24.  Perhaps self-denial is the hardest of Jesus’ commands to obey, but it is commanded, and therefore required. So, let's dig a little deeper...

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Longing for the Word

The “living and abiding word of God” is that imperishable seed from which Christians are conceived, gestate, and born again, 1Peter 1:23.  Thus, it is “obedience to the truth” through which one’s soul becomes “purified,” or cleansed from sin, 1Peter 1:22.  But in chapter two, the metaphor changes from the seed of conception and birth to the pure milk from which the newborn babe in Christ continues to grow and mature.  However…

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Have We Replaced “Holier Than Thou” with “Holy Enough”?

The problem of “self-righteousness,” or the “holier than thou” attitude and accompanying actions, has been around a long time.  But things are changing somewhat in that regard.  After all, when was the last time you heard someone actually use the word “thou” in a sentence who wasn’t reading the KJV, or wasn’t on some TV show about the Amish?

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Loyalty Lost

No one needs to be told that ours has become a “dog eat dog” and “what have you done for me lately” world.  One casualty (or culprit?) of this trend has been the loss of loyalty.  What we may not realize is how this loss of loyalty has affected our physical and spiritual relationships....

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The Two Most Important Questions in Life

There are many important questions in life. “Where will I go to school?” “What will I do for a living?”  “Who will I marry?” “Where will we live?”  “Will we have any children?”  “How many children will we have?”  “How are we going to afford to raise all these children?”  “Which of all of these children will select my nursing home (and pay for it!)?”  Etc. Etc. Etc.  But as important as these questions may be, two are even more vital…

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Circumstantial Faith

Faith is defined as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1.  This means, at least in part, that those of faith have trustable guarantees regarding their future hope of heaven, and convictions regarding events not personally witnessed from the past.   For instance...

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Burdens of Life

Have you ever been really “burdened” with some heavy load of care, responsibility, debt, etc.?  Most of us have.  How did it feel when, through whatever means, that burden was lifted?  The thrill and freedom of emancipation brings a feeling of relief, joy, and exaltation that only liberty can provide!  The trouble is that most of us feel suffocated by pressures of the wrong burdens.  I don’t mean that the burdens themselves are wrong, or that we shouldn’t be concerned about them, but rather that we’re probably over-emphasizing them and concentrating the bulk of our anxiety on the wrong burden(s).  For instance…

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“Study Long, Study Wrong”?

I remember hearing the admonition, “Study long, study wrong” in a couple of different instances:  friends urging me to answer some question in a school class when I was taking too long for their level of patience; and, buddies egging me on to action while I contemplated some (surely juvenile) dare.  Perhaps the adage is a derivative of “He who hesitates is lost”- who knows?  Regardless of origin, is “study long, study wrong” actually true?

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Daily Verse

“[Spiritual Fullness in Christ] So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

- Colossians 2:6-7

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