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Cutting Edge Sermon PowerPoint

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When You’ve Lost Your Cutting Edge

II Kings 6:1-7



We are so quick to ‘fly off the handle’ these days.  But God has a way of sharpening dull Christians…and good things will ‘surface’ if we will return to where we lost our cutting edge and reach out and reclaim it!


Even more amazing than a swimming axe head are the spiritual truths found in these 7 short verses.  Let’s check out one at a time:


vs. 1—Elisha Baptist Church and Theological Seminary.

       We’d like to call this church Shirley Temple!

Elisha is an effective missionary—planting both a church and Bible institute…teaching nationals to reach their own people.


*It’s time for a building project

        They saw the need

        We can relate!


Vs. 2—“every man a beam”

It’s not a bake sale or a car wash that will build the church, but personal sacrifice. 

        Want to build God’s church?  Make a personal sacrifice:

                        Labor / Finances / Prayer


Vs. 3—It was a very wise man who prayed here that the master would go with them thru this big project!


“Prayer moves the hand that moves the world!”


Vs. 4 –Elisha was with them, and they made progress.

           God is with us, and we are making progress.

This is the crossroads of the story…exactly where GBC is.

…and perhaps, precisely where you are in your life.


                Look what happened next…


Vs. 5—He lost his power for service!

        What’s worse is that it was borrowed.  (All of the Christian’s power is!)


The Holy Spirit:  our cutting edge for service!


        He was whacking away, and got into a rhythm, like the ax was an extension of his body, he had the hang of it, yeah, I’m doin’ a number on this tree, then suddenly, ploop!


We get to thinkin’ we’re somethin’ and then we fly off the handle!


The big trees they needed for this project grew along the edge of the Jordan river—which is very muddy!


He must’ve assumed he would never get it back.


And how would he repay the lender?  He cried out to his master, Elisha. 


That’s Satan’s goal for every Christian, to make him act independently from God.


This man was working for the Lord, but his power source was gradually slipping away!


Evidently, the problem he encountered was common in those days…

Deuteronomy 19:4    And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live:  Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die;  he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:


He needed to keep in touch w/ the condition of the relationship.  (between head / handle).  Like we used to say as teens, “We’re tight, man!”


Many preachers have lost their edge, but keep swinging away in the power of the flesh, like the disciples in Mk. 9:18, wondering why they couldn’t

get anything done.


Ill.—Samson in Judges 16:20—didn’t know the power was gone!


He needed to sharpen his ax.  (More work, less vibration)


Ill.—as a teen in NM, skinning bark off pine branches to make fence posts.  Hitting ankles, expletives flying.  Then I stopped, went to the garage, and sharpened my ax on dad’s grinder.  Now it had a bite to it.  Now it was effective!


Ecclesiastes 10:10   If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength:  but wisdom is profitable to direct.


He would have saved time by stopping to sharpen.

(we have a daily responsibility to be in the Word and in prayer.)


He also would’ve noticed the head was slipping off!


Jn. 15:5—Jesus said, without Me, ye can do nothing!



*suddenly this man was accomplishing nothing.

        He wasn’t lazy.  He was chopping away.  So are many of us today!


        He had a mind to work, but not a mind to “watch.”


“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall!”


Many times we allow our axe-head to be dulled by pride or self-interest.


“Pride is like a beard…always growing. 

The solution?… shave it every day.”


Sometimes Satan deceives us into thinking that we can serve God at times and still live a life of sin at other times, and then suddenly…ploop!



*Despite what just happened, this man had wisdom:  He had the sense to stop trying and get back to trusting!


As humans, we try many times to “make things happen”.  (we need to let go, and let God!)


How many Christians are still whacking away, powerlessly, making no progress, seeing no souls saved, never bringing visitors to church, never taking opportunities to minister to others or serve God in a church ministry?!


I wonder what Christians are whacking away powerlessly in their ministries, making no progress w/out the aid of the axe-head…the Holy Spirit?!

“The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…”


*Let God’s Word fill you.  And be filled w/the Spirit.  And accomplish much!


Ill.—neighbor’s artesian well in NM—it was a plywood cutout of a man, w/ his hand attached to the pump handle.  Back and forth his arm went, pumping the water.  I wondered to myself, “What powers that little man to pump the well?”  From a distance it looked like he was powering the well, but actually the well was pumping him!

        To accomplish his task, all he had to do was keep his hand on the handle. 


Luke 24:49—The Lord was about to ascend to heaven.  He said He would give the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and He said, “tarry ye here, until ye be endued w/ power from on high.”


Back to our text:  though this man’s situation looked bleak, he appealed unto his master…praise God we serve the God of the second chance! It isn’t too late!


Vs. 6—“where fell it?”


I’m no Elisha, no great man of God, but our great God wants me to ask you, “Where fell it?”


How did you lose your cutting edge, the Holy Spirit’s power?


You haven’t lost His presence, He lives in your heart…you’ve lost His indwelling power.  You’re not walking in the Spirit, not filled w/the Spirit!


You got all the Holy Spirit at salvation, but did the Holy Spirit get all of you?


Ill.—sponge—It needs to be clean, the right shape, and be filled with something to be useful.

What God chooses, He cleanses.

What God cleanses, He molds.

What God molds, He fills.

What God fills, He uses.

Where fell it?

Are you disobeying God’s Word?

Are you playing w/ a sin in your life?

Are you bitter against someone?

Have you allowed yourself to be lifted up w/pride?

Are you rebelling against authority instead of submitting to it?

Are you jealous or envious?

Are you refusing to witness to someone God has laid on your heart?

Where fell it?


v. 6          “And he showed him the place


The hardest thing you ever did was level w/God over your sins.


The word, “confess” literally means to “call it what it is.”


When you got saved, you admitted your sins to Almighty God.

        He knew you had done them.

        He just needed you to admit to it.  To fess up.  To call it what it is…sin!


What if I gave an invitation right now and said, “come show him the place.”?

Would you be willing to do it?

Maybe it’s under muddy water…ask God to show you where you lost it.


It’s all about what you call it:

        Call sin what God calls it…


Ill.—When she acts that way its “ugly.”  When I do it, it’s my nerves.

When he’s set in his ways…he’s obstinate.  When I do it…firmness.

He doesn’t like you…so he’s prejudiced.  When I don’t like him, I’m just a good judge of character!


You’ll never find the life of power ‘til you point to where you lost it and call it what it is!


“And he cast in a stick”—representative of the cross of Christ. (plunged into sin’s mirky waters to redeem a lost soul)


“And the iron did swim.”—liberals say he hooked it, or dragged it ashore, but here’s what that phrase literally means in the Hebrew… “the iron did swim!”


It was a miracle!

        And every miracle that happens in your life is because of the cross.  Salvation…cross / Family…cross / GBC…cross / filled w/Spirit…cross!


Vs. 7 –“He put out his hand and took it.” – accept forgiveness and move on!


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