August 24th, 2019
Some things we encounter in our efforts to be disciples of Jesus, are not easy, while other things are a joy we accept with ease.
However, brokenness is just as much a component of living this transformed life as is the joy imparted by the Lord upon us.
This side of heaven, while we are in the flesh, God can and will bring us to a state of purposed brokenness.
“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26-27 (NLT)
It’s not comfortable. It’s not fun. It doesn’t seem rewarding at the time nor is it something we in our flesh would choose to go through but broken is the state where God can use us to our greatest potential and His greatest glory. Understanding this and accepting it is entirely predicated on our love of Jesus.
If we avoided those things which bring us to a point of surrender to Jesus, then we cannot be as useful to Him as we are intended to be.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalms 51:17 (NLT)
This is where we are the most pliable. This is where we can be molded into the form that we become most useful to the Lord, it also tends to be the point where we find ourselves in the most discomfort, but as a result we are most dependent on His Grace, His Strength, His Power and His Mercy!
The image featured in this devotional was put out by Christian Today.
It illustrates how central our focus on Jesus must be in order to be the disciples He calls us to be. It is ALL about Him!
John the Baptist’s followers questioned him about Jesus baptizing followers, seeking clarification of what they saw as a competing interest and conflict. Jesus was just beginning his ministry and John’s was drawing to the final fulfillment of his. John responded to his followers in this way:
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
John 3:27-30 (NLT)
What John the Baptist told his followers is the same for us as it was for him. We just have a difficult time coming to the understanding that it is virtually impossible to exalt Jesus Christ when we a deeply invested in personal pride and edification. And we are to elevate Jesus, in every way possible.
We can’t do that when we are seeking personal gratification. Like John the Baptist, our joy should be derived by being a witness to God’s profound impact in our lives, the people around us, seeing the furtherance of His Kingdom, His Church, and his flock.
There simply is nothing in this which allows elevation of self; it is incompatible with the action of glorifying Jesus.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
Psalms 147:3-5 (NLT)
It’s not only His glorification that He seeks in our brokenness; it’s also our healing and empowerment. We can never be as great and powerful, as He can make us through His transformation of us. That transformation must begin from our broken and contrite condition.
Jesus gave us something we call beatitudes.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
Matthew 5:3-10 (NLT)
We tend to breeze by the term beatitudes because in our experience we are comfortable about the message Jesus was conveying when He gave them to us. But it really helps to understand that the title of beatitudes wasn’t placed on these eight verses as nothing more than a elegant way of saying blessings.
I looked it up and here is what the Oxford Dictionary has to say about it:
But let me suggest a better definition; brokenness!
Yes, these beatitudes are accurately described by the Oxford Dictionary, but you see to get to this we must be broken, contrite, and dependent on Jesus. We can’t get there if we rely on our flesh to deliver us.
It simply will not happen!
God created us each uniquely and expertly imbued us with a persona as individual as a fingerprint.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalms 139:14-16 (NLT)
As He transforms us into the newness of Christ Jesus, we should be thankful for how we are purposefully “Broken!”
In His Grace!