BROKEN VESSELS FOR GOD’S USE
The Apostle Peter
Peter was both prideful and boastful. The fact that he walked on water could have added to his boasting had Jesus not allowed him to sink right in front of the other disciples; (Matt. 14:29). Peter was the only disciple that refused to let Jesus wash his feet; (John 13:8). He even tried to talk Jesus out of going to the cross, but Jesus rebuked him, and told him to “Get thee behind me, satan”; (Matt. 16:21-23).
On another occasion, Peter pulled his sword out to defend Jesus. He was trying to keep Jesus from being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He cut Malchus’ right ear off in defense of Jesus, and again, Jesus had to rebuke him; (John 18:10).
Peter confessed that he would never leave Jesus and that he would defend him to the very end. But, after Jesus was arrested and interrogated, some of the townspeople recognized Peter. They asked him if he was a disciple of Jesus, and Peter denied knowing Jesus 3 times. After a rooster crowed, Peter remembered that Jesus told him that he was going to deny knowing him. Peter wept sorely; (Matt. 26:33-35; 69-74).
Peter had to be broken before He could be used. His emotions were out of control, and his understanding of Jesus’ purpose was terribly misconstrued. After surrendering totally to God’s will, Peter was appointed as the first apostle who would inaugurate the Christian Church and lay its first foundation. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached, and 3,000 souls were added to the Kingdom; (Acts 2:41).
Paul’s Sufferings For the Kingdom
In spite of Paul’s Roman citizenship, he was often imprisoned. He was severely flogged; five times, he received 39 lashes, three times, he was beaten with rods; he was stoned and had been exposed to death multiple times. He was shipwrecked three times. He went hungry and thirsty, often cold and sleep-deprived. On one occasion, the governor of Damascus under King Aretas had the city guarded in an attempt to arrest Paul and have him killed. But, Paul escaped in a basket that was lowered from a window; (2 Cor. 11:23-33).
Paul was a lawyer trained under Gamaliel; (Acts 22:3-4). He had a very prestigious background. He was highly educated, articulate, and poised. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees who persecuted Christians; (Phil. 3:5-6). God targeted his prideful spirit. Saul (Paul) had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus; (Acts Chpt. 9). This was the place where Saul’s prideful and rebellious spirit was broken.
After being broken, God used Paul to write two-thirds of the New Testament, 13 books in total. Two thousand years later, we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of Paul’s perseverance in spite of his persecution.
God did miraculous signs and wonders through Paul and his companion Barnabas; (Acts 15:12-16; 19:12). Those who were sick were cured, and evil spirits left them, just at the touch of his handkerchiefs and aprons; (Acts 19:11).
“God worked mightily in the Apostles lives in preparation for the advancement of His Kingdom.”
Brokenness can only occur when you come to the end of yourself. A life of brokenness begins only when a person throws himself at Christ’s feet. He grasps the reality of divine judgment for his sin, having his hope in the mercy of God. Those in a right relationship with God grow in humility. They present themselves as “Living Sacrifices.”
The Benefits of Brokenness
- Brokenness produces true humility.
- Pride is Broken.
- We are made sin conscious.
- We see an overwhelming need for a Savior.
- Our faith in God increases.
Every day is a day to deepen intimacy with Him. Let Him grow you in love by pruning and planting you according to His will. He reveals love, and I respond in adoration, surrendering it all for his Glory.
Sources: Dr. Charles Stanley, “God’s Pathway of Brokenness”; Bible Hub.com
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