Healing through Brokeness

John 12:24 NKJV
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.

Seeds must be broken open and die. Once they die and are buried the transformation begins. Nothing of its former existence remains. It has died in the process of giving life. Gone are its identity, form, independence, value and beauty. All has been surrendered.

Admittedly, we resist this process. It is hard to give up our agendas, objectives, aspirations and interests. But that is what we must do.

Our example is Jesus. His life was broken. He said He came only to do the will of His Father who sent Him. We hear Jesus repeatedly say this. Even in the Garden when He is praying to the Father to take the cup of death from Him. He says, but nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.

The will of the Father was that Jesus’ body be broken and planted as a seed so we all could have eternal life. He was beaten, spat upon, mocked, beard plucked out, a crown of thorns with 2 inch long thorns mashed into his skull. His heart probably exploded in the garden, thus the drops of blood. Then he is given 39 bone crushing, skin tearing, blood splattering lashes on his back and sides until his vital organs are exposed. One lash away from death. Then a splinter filled wooden cross is placed on his back and he was driven through the crowds of people carrying his cross up Calvary’s hill. He is our example. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. His side was slit open by a spear and blood and water flowed. His body was literally broken for you and for me. He died. Just as the seed dies and is placed in the ground Jesus was placed in the tomb, dead as a seed. What was he going to produce? What fruit would he bear? He was about to come up out of the ground, the first of many brethren to be resurrected. His death produced life. Eternal life for me and you.

We must follow his example. I am not talking about sack cloth and ashes. Crawling up stairs until your knees are bloody. I am not even talking about your physical body being broken as Jesus’ was. But the word of God says

Luke 9:23
And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
If we want to produce life we must be broken. If we want eternal life, we must crucify the outer man. We have to be broken. Our will must break to do his will. Our agendas and plans are dead to his will and his way. Humble yourselves.

John 12:25
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

1. Daily carrying our cross (The will of God)

2. Denying ourselves

God uses brokenness to rid us of ourselves. It is a painful process.

Brokenness releases a fragrance (LOVE)

Mark 14:3 GN
Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon…While Jesus was eating; a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of a very expensive fragrance made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the fragrance on Jesus’ head.

What was in the jar? A fragrant perfume, made from a PURE nard. The element in the jar was pure. The spirit of God in us is pure. Our true man is on the inside. When broken that pure substance comes out. An aroma will permeate the area where that fragrance is released.

She came in brokenness to break open the most valuable thing she had and give it to him. Something valuable is within you. We must love him enough to break open our lives, becoming a sweet aroma to him.

This woman had been through some brutle things in her life. She had been abused and misused. She had been rejected and unloved. Then she met a man who loved her. He took her worthlessness and gave her something valuable within. She realized that and it broke her. It broke her to know he loved her and she wanted to break open the most valuable thing she had and give it to him.

He loves you! He wants you to be broken. When you are broken you don’t care what people say about you. If you are broken, you will be poured out as a fragrant perfume before the Lord. In our brokenness there is no person who can stop us and there are no words that can slow us down.

Some of us have been like the Pharisees and indignant people who said what she did was a waste. We have watched people in lavish worship pour out their love in brokenness and we stood back with our arms folded and said “what a waste.” That is the spirit of JUDAS. When in reality what is being wasted is that which is bottled up in our spirit. That fragrant perfume, that pureness deep within your spirit. It needs to be released. It will only be released in brokenness.

There is something of pure value in you. It must be released. Satan wants you to hold it in. God wants to break you open so it can come out. It is expensive. It has a high price on it. It’s your worship. Release it. We try to worship. But that pure worship, with fragrant aroma, like that woman gave is yet to be experienced. Why? Because we aren’t broken.

This fragrance will be wasted if it is not released. The only wasted fragrance is the fragrance that is still bottled up and unused. The only wasted worship is the worship you have bottled inside you. Break it open today.

Stop wasting your life.
Start worshipping with your life.
Brokenness always leads to a new level of intimacy with the Lord.

Brokenness allows for multiplication

Matthew 15:36
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, broke them into pieces, and gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd. 37 They all ate until they were full, and when the scraps were picked up, there were seven large baskets of food left over!

When you allow God to break you, he will multiply you. In other words He will bless you. He will cause increase in your life.

1. Brokenness doesn’t lead to bareness.
2. Brokenness leads to blessedness.

Brokenness always opens the door for us to receive the abundance of God’s hand.

God will not allow brokenness to crush o destroy us.

He only breaks us to bless us. The process of brokenness will stop and the blessings will begin, the instant that we abandon our fleshly resources and submit to God’s will—allowing Him to be God, the one who can exclusively meet our needs.

I Corinthians 11:23
On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is broken for you.

It might be agreements we have made with the enemy. Strongholds must come down. It might be something from our past, abandonment, rejection, all forms of abuse, trust any issue that the enemy might exploit to keep us from our full blessings from God. Until recently I was afraid to date again. I might get rejected, I might get cheated on again, I might lose trust for that person and I might get my heart ripped out again. The enemy had used all these things and convinced me that, no one would want me, I couldn’t trust anyone and even that I was in capable of being loved. Through that brokenness, crying out to the lord and a continually focusing on serving and obeying God that stronghold has came down and I came to the realization that God is enough. He loves me unconditionally. No matter what happens here on earth, he is enough, he constantly has me in his arms and loves me more than anyone is capable of on earth. If someone hurts me, betrays me, cheats on me whatever circumstances might present itself…it doesn’t matter God is enough and he will see me through. He will protect me and he will always be with me no matter what. Just like he has been since I was in my mothers womb. He has a plan for me and he always will be my biggest fan. It is through all the heartache, all the brokenness that I am where I am at today. It did not happen over night. It has been an lengthy process to get where I am in my walk with God. It has taken me over 16 months to get to a point that I am ready to put myself out there and start dating. I have the full armor of God and a powerful army of the Kingdom of God to support me and any attack the enemy might use to take me down.

I am so happy where I am with my walk with Jesus and who he has placed in my life. I have grown close to many wonderful fully devoted followers of Christ who help me each and every day. I have began to date again and if it is his plan for me the blessings will be like none I have ever had before. Through my brokenness I have been redeemed through Jesus Christ. My prayer for you is that through your brokenness you too will be redeemed and receive the blessings God has for you.

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Make the most of the New Year

Proverbs 17:24 (The Good News Version) “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”

Can you believe that this year is over?  It seems that with each passing year time just speeds up. It seems that only yesterday we were worried about the Y2K bug. We all can do the one of two things this year:

We can waste it away by sitting around and worrying about the things we failed to accomplish last year, or the mistakes we made through out the year. We can sit around and mope or have a pity party because things didn’t go the way we wanted them to. OR

We can decide to make the most of this New Year that God as granted us. This could be the greatest year you have had up to this point, if you make a conscience decision to do whatever it takes to have a great year.

The point I want to get across is, whatever we’re going to do with our lives this year, we had better get on the move because time is moving on. Time is not going to sit still until we can make up our mind about what we are going to do. One other point that I want to make is, if we’re not doing something with our lives it really doesn’t matter how long the year is or how much time we have left in the year. 

So what are you going to do with 2014?  How will this year be any different than last year?  How many of you would like 2014 to be better than 2013?  Last year was a tough year.  It was a year of challenges, a year of choices.  It was a year of changes.  It was a year of some crises.  The fact is for some of you the year 2013 was more of a disappointment than a joy. Some of you may have experienced a loss of some kind. For some of you it may have been a year of set backs and  failures. 

The bad news is there is nothing we can do to change last year. The good news is we can learn from last year and today we have the opportunity to start over and make some changes. God brings life to us in small pieces, that we know as hours, days and months. At the beginning of every year He says, let’s wipe the slate clean and let’s start with a brand new year.  Its like God is saying, “ Let’s start over.” And that’s good news.

Proverbs 17:24 (The Good News Version) “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”

For many the last part of that verse describes them. It says, “ A fool starts off in many directions. ” Does that describe any of you? You start your year off in haste going in to many different directions at one time with no plan of action.

Then notice the words at the beginning of this verse: it says, ” An Intelligent person aims at wise actions”.  That means they have a goal, an objective, an aim, a target.  Have you set any goals for 2014?  Or are you just going to walk into this year and hope it’s better?  You’ve got to have a plan. 

I want to share with you four keys that I believe will help all of us get the most out of the year 2014.

 Accept responsibility for my life.

This is something that is hard for many people to do. Some people would rather blame someone else for the problems and difficulty in their lives. These are people that go around looking for someone who will accept responsibility for them. Someone who will accept responsibility for the way they live their lives and the choice they make. When things don’t turn out the way the hope, they have someone they can blame.

Accepting responsibility for ones life is not popular concept in our society, because we live in a culture that embraces a concept called “political correctness”.  This basically says, “None of your problems are your fault.  Everything bad in your life is somebody else’s fault.  Blame the environment.  Blame the educator.  Blame your parents.  Blame anybody else, but it’s not your fault.”  If you get in an accident, it’s never your fault.  If you spill some hot coffee on yourself, sue McDonalds; it’s their fault.  It’s always somebody else’s fault.  We will never be a success in life and we will never make our lives count if we have the attitude that it’s someone else’s fault.  We must accept responsibility for our own lives.

Galatians 6:5 “Each person must be responsible for himself.”
The King James Version say’s, “ For every man shall bear his own burden. ”

Here is the truth of this scripture. I am responsible for my own life, if I like it or not.

All of us face two kinds of circumstances.

Those circumstances which we have no control over. None of us know what we will face through out this coming year. There are certain things that are going to happen regardless of what you do and how you plan your year. That is no excuse for not being prepared or having a plan. (Example of some things that we have no control over: We have no control over the weather, the economy, the companies that we work for, or the words and action of others.)

There are some circumstances that we face as a result of my own choices, actions or lack of actions. (Example: I’ve known people that have had financial problems because they quit their job and didn’t have another job to go to. The reason they quit their job is because they didn’t like it or someone made them mad. Then when things got tight, money and food was low, these people blamed their family, the church or someone in the church because their family, the church or someone in the church refused to accept the responsibility for the decisions and actions of those people. What they really wanted was someone to accept responsibility for their lives and bail them out of trouble. There are people like that in the world. I am not talking about someone who through no fault of his or her own fell on hard times. I’m talking about someone that did something without considering the consequences of his or her actions and how these actions would affect others around them.  

While we may not be in control of all the circumstances that we will face this coming year, we do have control of how we will act and respond to them.

We need to understand that there are three kinds of people in life. 
· There are accusers. 
· There are excusers. 
· There are choosers. 

There are accusers.  They always blame everybody else for their problems.  Their favorite phrase is, “It’s all your fault.”  It’s never my fault.  It’s someone else’s fault.

There are the excusers.  Excusers are people that always have an excuse for not making a decision or doing something.  There’s always a reason why they can’t make the most or get the most out of their year. In the long run they end up being the losers.  I’ve discovered that whenever I want to procrastinate on something, any excuse will do.  The Bible says, “A lazy man is full of excuses.”

There are the choosers, they say, “I choose to accept responsibility for my own life, goals and happiness.  I’m not dependent upon somebody else.  I choose the direction of my life.”  I’m not depending upon the crowd. If we do this, we will already be a jump ahead in 2014.

Believe I can change

Stop saying, “I can’t” and start saying, “I can”.  The person that believes that they can change with the help of God will change.

Philippians 4:13 (Jerusalem Bible) “There is nothing I cannot master with the help of Christ who gives me strength.” 

Do you really believe that verse?  There’s nothing I can’t master!  That means there’s nothing I’m going to hit in the next 365 days, no problem, no situation, no circumstance, no hassle that I can’t handle, that I can’t manage, that I’m not competent to handle with the help and strength God gives me. 

Many people never succeed in life because they believe they can’t change. They never enjoy life because life to them is just one big failure after another. They face a new year with regret rather than the joy of knowing that God has given them the opportunity to make a difference in their own lives with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe I have discovered why there are so many New Year parties were people get so drunk they can’t see straight. They get drunk to forget the past year and because they are afraid to face the New Year. 

With the help and grace of God I can overcome the past and face the future. I have a new handle on life for this coming year.  I believe and know I can change.  Not on my own power, but with the power that Christ gives me.

The Bible is full of stories of people who changed because they believed that they could change after God touched them. 

God called a man named Moses:  “I want to use you to save a nation.”  Moses said, “Me?  I got kicked out of Egypt because I killed a guy.  I’m a murderer.  Now I’m out here feeding sheep.  And on top of that, I stutter!  I’m slow of speech.  You want me to be the spokesman for a nation?”  God said, “Yes.  I’m going to use you.”

God used another man named Gideon, when the nation of Israel was over run by the enemy:  “I’m going to use you, Gideon, to save the country.”  Gideon said, “Me?  I am the youngest kid in the poorest family in the smallest tribe in the nation.”  God said, “Yes.  I’m going to use you.”

God can use me and God can use you.  The good news is God wants to use you.  First you must accept responsibility for your own life.  And second you must believe you can change, that God can give you the power to change if you’ll trust Him. 

 Clarify what I really want

You must decide what’s important and what’s not important.  God has given each of us an incredible gift called the freedom to choose, the freedom of choice.  That’s one of the things that makes us like God.  When God says in Genesis 1, “Let Us make man in Our own image,” that gave us the freedom of choice. This is one of the ways that we are different from animals, we have the freedom to choose between good and evil. We have the freedom to choose what we want in life.

The only way can clarify what we really want is to make a list and decide what is important and what is not.    

It’s amazing most people never do this.  They never stop and think through and write down on paper what’s really important to them. Maybe some of you have never done this.  You’ve never written down the things that are important to you. You must ask yourself,
“ What’s important to me? ”  What really counts? We can’t do what’s important until we clarify what’s important.  Otherwise you’re going to be pushed around by the pressures of life doing this and that then all of a sudden the year is over and you’re saying, “ Where did the year go?”

Your values determine your vision.  Your desires determine your direction.  Your roles determine your goals.   

Most people have never made up their mind what they want out of life and if you aim at nothing, you’re going to hit it.  Most people have this vague feeling of, “I just want to be happy.”  But they’ve never really sat down and figured out what is it that’s going to make me happy?  What does God want me to do with my life?  Why am I here?  They’ve never written out their values. 

I want to challenge each of you to, make a list of things that are important to you, a list of things that you want to accomplish. What do I value? What do I want to change?  Put it down.  Then make this your prayer list. Pin it up on a wall and review it everyday and pray about it. Then make a plan of action that will help you accomplish your goals for this year. Then do what ever you have to, to make and get the most of this coming year. Then watch God do miracles in your life. Clarify what you really want.

There are some things in life that we will do that are permissible but may not be necessarily to our advantage. There will be some things that all of us will do this year that will not benefit us at all. 

We are going to have to make a decision between what is good and what is better. Between what is better and what is best. There are many that we can do, but not all of them will be beneficial.”  Some things aren’t necessarily wrong; they’re just not necessary.  We don’t have time for everything.  We need to clarify the two or three things that we’ve got to get done this year.  What are the things that are really important? 

May I suggest two or three things that need to be at the top of your list?

Your relationship with God needs to be #1.  What are you going to do this year to strengthen and improve your relationship with God? What are you going to do to become more intimate with Him? You need to make your relationship with God top priority.
Your relationship with your family. What are you going to do to build a stronger and better relationship with your family? What are you going to change about yourself that will help you to accomplish this?
Your relationship with your church and church family. What are you willing to do to improve the quality of your church? How involved are you willing to get to help your church accomplish the commission that God has given it? How committed are you going to be in your attendance and support to your church?

Don’t wait to begin

Do it now! These three words can change your life. Do it now. If you and I wait for the right situation or the right kind of circumstances we will miss out on life all together.  There will never be an ideal set of circumstance to start out on. To make the most of 2014 and to accomplish the things you want to accomplish, start now.  Don’t wait to begin.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” 

We always say, “ When things settle down.” Or “When things get better.” The problem is things may never settle down or get any better. That’s called life! If you’re out there using that as an excuse, “ When things settle down or get better, I’m going to start having a daily quiet time and read my Bible every day,” you’re never going to do it.  You learn to read your Bible and pray when things are unsettled and not so good.  “When things settle down, I’m going to spend more time with my kids.” They’ll be grown and gone! 

There are a lot of people that have missed out on life waiting for the ideal set of circumstance or waiting for things to get better. While they were waiting, time just kept right on going and passed them by.

We must learn to enjoy life under circumstances that are less than perfect. Whatever you’re going to do, that which you want to do, start now!  Because things may not settle down or get better until you’re in the coffin. 

Some of you are saying to yourself, “ I’m going to make the most of this New Year. I am going to set some goals and accomplish them. Right now you are being motivated, you are pumped up to make the most of this year. However, when you turn off the computer there will be no one to motivate you or to encourage you. You have to determine right now that it doesn’t matter what happens or what comes your way, this is going to the best year yet. Then with each passing year, continue to improve the quality of your life with the help and grace of God.

I want to share with you a story that I read in John Maxwell’s book, “ Developing the Leader Within You. ”

· A Middle Eastern mystic said, “ I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was: ‘ Lord, give me the energy to change the world.’ As I approached middle age and realized that my life was half gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: ‘ Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, just my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.’ Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: ‘ Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayed for this right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.’

What kind of person will you be this year? Will you be an accuser, an excuser, or a chooser? Will you choose to make the most of 2014? Will you accept responsibility for your life? Will you believe you can change? Will you clarify what you want this year and what is important to you? Will you start right now? Will your relationship with God be on the top of your priority list? Will your family and church be at the top of that list? The choice is yours. What will it be?

I am praying for each of you and that you have a year full of the blessings and promises of God.  Happy New Year everyone and may 2014 be the best year yet.