Anyone who has burned wood for any length of time will soon come to the same conclusion that all those before them have: seasoned wood burns much better and hotter than green wood. The same is true for wet wood and dry wood. Sure, you can get green or wet wood to burn, but most of the hear it produces is used to dry the un-burnt wood instead of radiating heat. Green wood or wet wood often needs a constant outside heat source to cause it to dry and become burnable. To accomplish this, green/wet wood is often placed on top of wood that is ablaze, so that the wood is dry by the time it is necessary for the green wood to carry the burden of burning hot enough to radiate heat, while drying the green wood that was placed on top of it.
There are many techniques that are used to convert green wood into seasoned wood. Above was one such example, but it is the least desired method and does not allow for maximum heat transfer to the surrounding area, since some of the heat’s consumed by the green wood.
Another method is to cut; split, and stack the green wood 6 months to a year in advance. By using this method, the best-seasoned wood is produced – but it is important to note that if the wood is not properly covered and protected from rain or snow, it will absorb the water around it and will no longer be effective seasoned wood, but wet wood that will burn poorly.
The other important factor to consider is that green or wet wood that is burned, produces considerable smoke that can cause the people around it to back away in order to not be overcome by the smoke, while a fire that is ablaze from seasoned wood will draw people into its heat.
At this point some may have guessed where this illustration is going – that I will compare the new Christian or unbelievers to the green or wet wood and the long time Christians to the seasoned – dry wood. Although there is a possibility that it would fit, that is not my point, because whether we admit it or not, time alone does not make you seasoned. There can be new believers who are seasoned wood and there can be long time Christians and even pastors who are green wood. How can this be? – Glad you asked!
Just as water douses a fire, so sin douses God’s fire within us. Green wood and wet wood have one thing in common – they are both full or water. Seasoned wood is dry and has little or no water content.
It is one of the jobs of a pastor or teacher and of the whole church, to produce ‘seasoned wood.’ Many try to season their wood by throwing green wood into the fire of ministry in order to dry it out quickly, and to avoid the toil and time it would take otherwise. The problem with this technique is that if their water content is too great, then it can absorb the energy, fire, and heat from the seasoned wood around it, and can produce a great deal or smoke in the process. There are also many cases or the green or wet wood burning up or burning out instead of becoming seasoned – ablaze people.
Producing Seasoned wood
So, how can the church and pastors produce seasoned wood? Again – what is the difference between green-wet wood and seasoned-dry wood? WATER CONTENT.
One of the current trends of the churches scattered across America is that they do not tend to focus on, point out, or convict sin by utilizing the Bible and the Words of Jesus. There are few churches who move past the ‘feel-good self-help, prosperity, what God can and will do for me if I ask’ sermons, to the ‘this is what Jesus died on the Cross for, the sinner, which we all are,’ even Paul who called himself the chief sinner in 1 Tim 1:15.
The mistake churches are making is to assume that people are not sinning, or that they will leave or stop tithing if they meet their sin face to face- by the Word and Power of Jesus.
Yes, some people may feel uncomfortable and choose to leave instead of allowing Jesus to deal with their sins… does that mean that the Word of God will return void? By no means! Yes, some people may stop tithing… only a small percentage tithe anyways, and those do not tithe 10% lots of times anyways!
The Word of God, boldly proclaimed, wielded as a sword piercing to bone and marrow (Heb 4:12), convicting of sin, rebuking and correcting seasons green wood and sets ablaze individuals, churches, towns, states and nations. It is what draws people to a church and it is what will case people to joyfully and generously tithe.
A church ablaze- like a campfire ablaze is memorizing and will always draw people in.