Herald Journal Columns
March 15, 2004 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Overhauled to be a new creation in Christ

By Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

Perhaps one sign that I’m beginning to feel older is that I like to fix good quality things. Recently, someone gave me a chainsaw that they were told was not worth fixing. That is usually a challenge for me that I love to tackle.

When I do the work myself, I don’t have the cost of labor that often makes fixing prohibitive. What made this especially interesting and frustrating, was the fact that this chainsaw was a “Cadillac” compared to mine.

I admired the engineering as I dismantled it down to the cylinder and piston, and when I got them out, I saw that they were scored. Deep grooves in the piston and significant scratches in the cylinder result in poor compression so that it won’t run.

Next, I checked on prices for new parts. My heart sank when I heard it was $170 for those two parts. Checking the internet to find discount parts was not successful either.

So, with nothing to lose, I decided to get out some fine sandpaper and smooth out those grooves and free up that ring that was stuck in the piston, to see if I could get some compression. (Stop laughing, you mechanics! I told you I have a hard time giving it up!)

When that was done, I dumped some oil down the cylinder to lubricate it, put gas in the tank, and pulled. The good news is that it actually ran, but the bad news is that it ran for only four seconds. I figured that as soon as the oil burned out, it lost compression, so I put it back on the shelf.

A week later, I wondered if it could have been lacking gasoline, so I tried it again. To my surprise, it started and ran!

I gave it full throttle and expected it to die the moment I let off the throttle, but I set it down and it idled! So, I went to my woodpile and cut for 10 minutes, and it still idled. A few days later, I cut wood again with my “Cadillac” for two hours, and it ran well.

Do any of you feel like a chainsaw with little compression to do anything anymore? I have good news for you!

Jesus can take a sinful human being with deep grooves of sin, and overhaul you so that you become a new creation of His (II Cor. 5:17).

Would you allow Him to work on you? He’ll take you off the shelf and give you a new purpose in life.

Why does my chainsaw run? I don’t know for sure, but from the size of my woodpile, I can tell you that it does!

Why does trusting Jesus bring a new life to the sinner? It’s a miracle, because God has made it that way.

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