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TITLE:  Saw Sharpening
 James 4:13-17
 Taking time to plan (sharpen the saw) is valuable.


  1. Story of my grandfather and dull saw. Ask me to cut a board.
  2. I worked and worked - - barely made a mark on the wood.
  3. Then he took a few minutes and sharpened the saw.
  4. Sharpening the saw took less time than I had taken with the dull saw to do little work.
  5. We think we don’t have time to plan and organize our day.
  6. TRUTH: We MUST take time to sharpen our saw.


Hamster running in the wheel

  1. Running hard and getting nowhere.
  2. “Hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
  3. Harder I work the less I get done.


Daily, Weekly, and Annually

  1. Daily – to do list (and prioritize the items)
  2. Weekly – look back, look ahead, mid-course corrections
  3. Annually – Big picture – back away and see the big picture
    1. Develop some personal criteria – countable, measurable, attainable
    2. Create a series of questions for each check-up
    3. “Success is progress toward a worthy goal.” Earl Nightingale
    4. I try to remember this when I play golf.


Bible Passages to Study

2 Samuel 14:14 For we must all die, and we are as water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. And God does not take a life, but has devised plans so that the outcast is not cast out from Him.

Psalm 20:4 May He grant you according to your own heart, and fulfill all your plans.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his way, but Jehovah directs his steps.

James 4:13-17

13) Come now, those saying, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and spend a year there, and we will trade and will make a profit,

14) who do not know of the morrow. For what is your life? For it is a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then disappears.

15) Instead of you saying, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.

16) But now you boast in your presumptions. All such boasting is evil.

17) Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Biblical principle

  1. James 4:17 – Know to do good and don’t do it, it is sin.
  2. On any given day – make a list of 50 or 100 things I could do.
  3. Prioritize them – PDA to do list – computer organizer (like MS Outlook)
  4. Do what is most pressing FIRST.
    1. Here is what we do – make a list of to do items
    2. Find the tough one – dread doing this – do it later
    3. Do all other items on the list – accomplish little
  5. If we do not do the good (needed, most important) then we have failed the day.

 Saw Sharpening Involves:

  1. Planning and setting priorities

  2. Bible reading and study

  3. Meditation and Prayer

  4. Doing what is important - not what is easiest

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