*I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, Oh Lord! please don't let me be misunderstood*

Tag Archives: family


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BROKENNESS—THE PROCESS

Matthew 16:13-28

Everybody wants a blessed life, nobody wants the blessed life the way
God gives it—through a broken life. But before God can thoroughly
bless a person He must thoroughly break that person from his own
self-reliance.
· We saw that in Jacob, who after being broken, became Israel.
· The understanding of the necessity of brokenness before blessedness
was seen in our Savior’s purchase of redemption through brokenness,
as is personal salvation and restoration.
· The path of brokenness begins with the birth, followed by the death,
but the eventual resurrection of God’s desires and intentions.
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David…all took this path.
· The pattern of brokenness is seen through various Bible illustrations
and in real-life demonstrations. God has been in the “breaking business”
all through the Bible.

The “Purpose of Brokenness”
(1) To bring us to spiritual maturity and
(2) To allow us to engage us in maximum ministry.

Charles Stanley’s definition of brokenness:
“Brokenness is the condition whereby our will is brought into full
submission to his will so that when he speaks, we put up no argument,
 make no rationalizations, offer no excuses, and register no blame,
but instead, instantly obey the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides us.”

Brokenness is not just a “condition,” it is also a process—a very
predictable, planned process from God’s viewpoint.  When we are
the ones being broken it is chaotic  and confusing, it is painful
and puzzling.  God is in the very center of our circumstances,
accomplishing His purpose which is …..
(1) spiritual maturity and
(2) maximum ministry.

‘Brokenness’ that only God can Heal

How does God break us from living like unbelievers live—depending
on their five senses and their corrupt minds, their warped wills and
their easily influenced emotions?  Believers, and only believers,
have an inner man that is meant to control the outer man.

The life of Simon Peter in the gospel provides a great example of
God’s breaking process.

1.  The Process of Brokenness is Planned.

To many of us, our spiritual life is a huge mystery.  We see it as
only some spontaneous, rather than something calculated, thought
out, planned out.

Think how this planned came together for Peter.

First, Christ choose His disciples, and one of them was Peter.
And the one that Jesus had the most problems with was … Peter.

But Christ saw what He could do in and through this man—a man
who had more hang-up than a telephone solicitor.  Christ knew
with His touch, the blow of the chisel here and the heavenly
sandpaper there, Peter could be used to the glory of God.

If you will cooperate with God as you walk through the breaking
process, He will shape you into a servant that resembles His Son.

Christ’s plan was to zero in on what seemed to be Peter’s strength.
· Matthew 16:16-18  Peter spoke up…this time with the right
answer.  Jesus pointed out to Peter that he didn’t come up with
that conclusion by himself—God had revealed it to Him.
· Matthew 16:21  Jesus began to prepare His men for His death.
· Matthew 16:22.  Peter buts in.  “Why, you’re not going to do
anything of the sort!  You’re not going to be the Son of God and
have a bunch of men treat you that way.  We are going to take
care of you.”  How many know it is He that takes care of us,
and not the other way around?

Peter was a man of tremendous strength, potential, determination.
But Peter was not responding from a “spirit-level,” but from a
“soulish-level.”  His will said, “No, you won’t die.”  His emotions
said, “I’m too loyal.  I love you too much to see that happen.”
His reason said, “None of this makes any sense.”

· Matthew 16:23a.  “Peter…Satan, get behind me…”  Who?
That’s, right.  Peter, this is Satan’s plan for me to avoid the cross.
Get this.  Peter had just had this tremendous spiritual revelation
in verse 18 and now he had a soulish revelation that was
diametrically opposite.  The first came from heaven, the last came
from hell.
· Matthew 16:23b  “Peter, you are an offense unto me…”
Peter was his most outspoken, loyal disciples. It must have crushed
him.
· Matthew 16:24-26  While Jesus said this to all “his disciples,”
the primary target was Peter.  Peter had the bright idea that Jesus
would raise up an army and wipe out Rome and set up an earthly
kingdom.  “No, Peter, you must be willing to die, also.”

2. The Process of Brokenness is Perpetual.

Many people have the idea that if we have one giant, whopper of
a breaking that it will last a life-time.  Brother, you better keep
the bandages handy.  Brokenness is a perpetual process…a process
to keep us broken from self-reliance, self-glorification, self-seeking.

Years ago when I was a young adult a man was trying to sell me
some health insurance.  I said to him, “Man, I don’t need health insurance.
Can’t you see?  I’m healthy.”  His reply was, “You are over-due and you will
be needing some.”   We need health insurance because…we all get sick,
sometimes seriously sick.

If you haven’t gone through the breaking process…hang on,
you’re overdue. Our strong points can be our weak points…because
we allow them to marginalize God.
Someone said “EGO” is “edging God out.”

Every step of the way, Peter was being broken.

· Matthew 14:22-27, 28-30 – Peter’s faith was broken.
– “If it is you, bid me come.”  That’s serious spirit thinking.
– “But,” vs. 30.  Peter slipped into his soulish senses and sank.
– Here is Peter—bold, courageous, loyal, fearless, determined—
and he nearly drowned. Wiped out. Buried at sea.

· Matthew 18:15-22 – Peter’s rights were broken.
– “How oft?  Seven times?”
– “NO.”  “Seventy times seven.” Not 490, but on and on and on.
– Shattered the old Peter who had his limits.

· Matthew 19:27 – Peter’s expectations were broken.
– “What shall we have?”
– Jesus: “More than you deserve and more than you can imagine.

· John 13:4-8 – Peter’s pride was broken.
– “Thou shalt never wash my feet.”

· Matthew 26:51-52 – Peter’s wisdom was broken.
– Peter drew his sword.   Great plan, Peter.
– “Put up the sword into his place; for all they that take the sword
shall perish with the sword.”

· Matthew 26:33, 69-75 – Peter’s self-confidence was broken.
– Broken, Peter goes out weeping like a little baby.

· John 21:15-17 – Peter’s self-professed love was broken.
– “Lovest thou me?”
-”He was grieved.” Broken.

At every turn, Peter was put down, embarrassed, silenced, humiliated.

Why doesn’t God let up on us?  God works to strip from our lives
that which we depend upon…so that we will depend on Him.
God loves us too much to let us be our soulish self.
He has bigger and better things for us.

3. The Process of Brokenness is Painful.

Psalm 119:67  “Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but now have
I kept thy word.”  Verse 71  “It is good for me that I have been
afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”

The process of brokenness is painful because of what brokenness
targets—the old man, the self life, our soulish dependence.
Our old man doesn’t like to be exposed as helpless, hopeless and hellish.
Most believer know what God is targeting to break in our
lives.  We know what is grieving the Holy Spirit.
We know what is quenching the Holy Spirit.

The process of brokenness is painful because brokenness takes time.

The process of brokenness is painful because of the tools God uses
to break us.

· Family.
God may use a wife to break a husband…husband to break a wife…
parent to break a child…child to break a parent…friend to break a friend.
The real laboratory of life is the home.
The home is where the real “you” is.
God may use your children to expose your flaws, your inconsistencies,
your selfishness.

· Flesh.
God can touch our “health” to get our attention.
You have heard of many medical problems that cannot be diagnosed.
All sickness is God’s hand of breaking, but all sickness is a time to
draw near to God.

· Finances.
God can hit us where it hurts—a shot at our pocketbooks.

· Friends.
There are people God will put in your life who care to be honest
with you.

· Failure.
God can wipe out our huge egos with personal failure.  God did that
for me my first semester in college.  If I had succeeded I don’t know
where I would be today.  God used my failure—He didn’t have to do
very much to get me there—to get me to surrender to Him.

God’s most powerful tool is His Word.
· Jeremiah calls God’s Word a “hammer” 23:29, and a “fire,” 5:14.
It is also a “sword” Heb 4:12 and a bright “light” Ps 119:105.
This is one reason why people consistently stay away from church
services. The Word literally tears them up.  God uses the Word to
break us.  And you will not be broken until we can discern between
what is soul and what is spirit.

Let’s make a clarification about a couple of things that may or may
not be tools used by God that peole may wonder about.
· Death.  Does God take another person’s life to get our attention?
It will often result in that, but it doesn’t seem like God to takes the
life of someone to make a point because God loves both people.
Death is the result of sin.
· Sin.  Does God cause a person to sin to bring about another’s
submission to God?  e.g. Does God get a teenager on drugs to get
a parents to fall on their faces before God.  God will take advantage
of our sins and disobedience to bring about His purpose to confront
us and change us.

4. The Process of Brokenness is Precise.

God knows everything about everyone of us and know how to
precisely measure our breaking.  And what a great God He is…
from person to person He orders our breaking.

Our breaking will last no longer than when we finally surrender.
Any resistance on our part will prolong the process.  So our
willingness to yield shortens it.

The only thing that you can determine in the process of brokenness
is how long you will postpone the inevitable.  God will have His way.

Charles Stanley warns, “Those who resist God long enough are not
destroyed — rather, they generally are ‘shelved.’  They are ignored.
They remain unused.  They stagnate at their current level of
growth and spiritual maturity.  They remain in their flawed state.”

That concept of being “shelved” is a Bible concept.  It comes out
of 1 Corinthians 9:27 where Paul expressed the dreaded thought
of becoming a “castaway,” meaning “rejected,” (A.T. Robertson)
or “disqualified,” not from salvation, but from any earthly usefulness.

The last thing Peter wanted to do was give up the control of his life.
He wanted to do it “his way.” Brokenness is God’s process of bringing
us to the place where we humbly say, “Lord, I get it now.  What do
you want me to do?  How do you want me to live?  Where do you
want me to go?  What do you want me to say?  Its all about you—
its not about me.”

Peter would later write in his first epistle, “God resisteth the proud,
but giveth grace to the humble,” 1 Peter 5:5.  Peter had lived the
first part, and was now enjoying the last part.

5.  The Process of Brokenness is Profitable.

The best things for all of us is to be broken by the loving hand of God.
It is productive. It is profitable.

How can we be sure of that?  Well, did it do ‘ol Peter any good?
Did he continue to live as he had always lived?  Was he always a
spiritual yo-yo—up and down, up and down?  Was he ever changed?
What is our proof of the profitability of brokenness?

Remember God purpose for brokenness?  Maturity and ministry.
How did that work out for Peter?

· Maturity is never fully accomplished, but Peter was much more
grown up than when he first met Jesus.  Acts 4:13 “And they took
knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  Hey, we start
looking and behaving more like Jesus than ourselves, we are headed
in the direction of spiritual maturity.  Jesus could now be seen in Peter
…what an accomplishment…a job only God could do.
· As far as ministry was concerned, he was the leader of the pack.
After all that he had been, and all that he had done (most of it not
good), God assigned Peter the ministry task of preaching on the
Day of Pentecost, Acts 2.  He was Spirit-empower, preached Christ,
and 2,000 turned to Jesus and were baptized.

And the very next day after this record event at Pentecost, Peter
and John are headed to the temple to pray, Acts 3:1.  That tells
me volumes about Peter.  He’s no longer depending on himself.
While Peter takes up the first half of the book of Acts, it’s not the
old Peter doing the work; it’s the new Peter, the broken Peter.

Copyright © 2006 Lake Worth Baptist Church | All Rights Reserved

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The Magnet and the Nail Family

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Objects:

1. A Magnet.

2. Young Children of the Nail Family—small, bright, shiny Nails.

3. Mr. Nail (father), large nail, a bit rusty—invisible string attached, concealing

large bottle under the table.

4. Mrs. Nail (mother) middle-size nail; invisible string attached concealing

deck of cards.

5. Big Brother Nail, tall, bright nail; invisible string attached, concealing

a filthy rag.

6. Bent, rusty Nail (Grandpa Nail).

♣ ♣ ♣

We have the NAIL family before us this morning, boys and girls.

See them here on the table!

They picture a good many families living all about us today.

And what is this? (Exhibit magnet.)

Someone says, “a MAGNET.”

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Yes, this is a magnet. It has drawing power. In John 12:32 the Lord Jesus said,

“And I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto Me.” He was speaking of His death

on the cross, which would enable Him to draw men and women from sin unto

Himself as Saviour.

We will let the MAGNET picture the Lord Jesus/Yeshua.

Ω

Lord & Savior Jesus/Yeshua_little children drawn to Him

Let us put the magnet in among the Nail family. See the bright, shiny nails fly

to it? These are the small children in the Nail family. Like many other small

children, they are eager to accept the Lord Jesus in their youth. (Eccl. 12:1.)

They gladly accept His loving invitation to the children, “Suffer the little children

to come unto Me and forbid them not.” — Luke 18:16.

Ω

But what about the other members of the Nail family? Some seem unmoved,

while others make an attempt to come, but something seems to hold them back.

Ω

father_an alcoholic

father_an alcoholic

Let us look at each one separately. This tall, strong looking nail, is Mr. Nail,

the father of the household. Surely, Mr. Nail, as the head of the house, should

accept the Lord Jesus as His Saviour. But no, he refuses to come, though he

does seem moved as the story of God’s love is presented to him. Something

seems to hold him back. Let us see what it is. (Beer Bottle in hand)

Ah—this tells the story.

Mr. Nail is bound down by a habit which seems to have the better of him.

This bottle tells not only of a habit, but of worldly friends and pleasures,

which are keeping him away from the church and the Lord.

Is there no hope for Mr. Nail?

Oh, yes, the Lord Jesus is able to break every fetter. He says, “Him that

cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” — John 6:37.

Now, see Mr. Nail cling to the magnet! Hear him sing:

“Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.”

mother_addictive gambling vice

With Mr. Nail a Christian, he is anxious for Mrs. Nail and the other members

of the family to accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour. Mrs. Nail has surely seen

a change in Mr. Nail since he became a Christian, she would like to come to

the Lord Jesus, but something seems to be exerting an influence over her.

Let us see what it is … Why, attached to Mrs. Nail is a deck of cards.

So this is the reason Mrs. Nail will not put her trust in the Lord as her

Saviour — she loves the world and the pleasures of the world.

Finally she too, accepts the invitation of the Lord Jesus. She hears him say,

“Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

— Matt. 11:28.

What rest and peace she found in Christ—a peace that the world never knew

or offered.

grandpa_grumpy and bitter in sin

Another member of the Nail family is Grandpa.

This bent, rusty nail is Grandpa Nail. He is getting old, all of his life has been

lived for self, with practically no thought of God. He hears of the Lord Jesus

from his son and daughter-in-law, but it doesn’t seem to be for him.

He feels he has lived in sin too long. Again and again they tell him of Jesus’

love. His heart seems changing—he listens with more interest. Finally one

day as Mr. Nail repeated Romans 5:8, “For God commended His love toward

us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” — a joy filled his heart

and life as he exclaimed, “He died for me! He died for me!”

Ω

With Grandpa Nail in the fold, there was only one other member of the family

left untouched by the Gospel. This was Big Brother Nail. Big Brother was a

Senior in college. He couldn’t understand what was happening to the family.

His mother and father tried to tell him, but he was always too busy, besides,

he said such things were “old fashioned.” How they all yearned over Big

Brother and longed to see him come to the Lord Jesus and accept Him as

Saviour.

big brother_insufferable conceited self-righteousness

This tall, bright looking nail is Big Brother. Let us see if we can find out why

he refuses to come to the Lord Jesus. Something seems to be preventing him

from even listening to the “Good News.”

Ah, see what is attached to Big Brother — a filthy rag!

What can this mean?

God’s Word says that self-righteousness is in His sight as “filthy rags,”

(Isa. 64:6). Big Brother feels that he has a righteousness of his own, and so

does not need a Saviour. But the prayers of the Nail family are not to go

unanswered. At last Big Brother is brought to realize that, “All have sinned

and come short of the glory of God.”— Romans 3:23.

He turns his back on his own righteousness, takes his place as a sinner in

need of  a Saviour. What rejoicing there was in the Nail household the day

that Big Brother came to the Lord. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,”

they all sang that night as they gathered around the family altar.

What happened in the Nail family can happen in your family too, boys and girls.

The Lord Jesus longs to DRAW unto Himself those who know Him not.

“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10),

and “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”—John 6:37.

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♥ ♣ ♥ ♣

Ω

excerpted from “www.moreillustrations.com”

 Sermon Illustrations



The City of Regret

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I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly.

This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it.

I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage,

which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand

memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City

International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

International Airport_Regret City
International Airport_Regret City

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event,

the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

Last Resort ... Hotel
Last Resort Hotel

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had

family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost.

The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have

a very sad story to share.

Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories

(excuses) about how things had failed in his/her life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me

and I Couldn’t Help It.

shattereddreams, it'stheirfault, don'tblameme, icouldn'thelpit
shattereddreams, it’stheirfault, don’tblameme, icouldn’thelpit

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so.

And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past,

it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be cancelled by ME! I started to truly realize that

I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE

YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled,

encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address.

Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.

forget pity party; leave city of regret
forget pity party; leave city of regret

So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip

to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors,

the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy

baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town.

If you can find it — it’s in your own heart — please look me up. I live on I Can Do It street.

by Larry Harp




≈ ∞ ≈

A tomorrow comes

A tomorrow goes

A Tomorrow Goes
Distance between us all,

grows and grows and grows….

≈ ∞ ≈

While pondering on this, does everyone have this one burning question;

why do we busy ourselves endlessly going round and round in circles

chasing our envisioned pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Are there such promises of treasures? The quest and the attainment of it,

does it all satisfy the hunger for fulfillment of happiness and peace of our

inner soul? By the end of it all, is it worth every breath we take and every

minute that we expend our present moments for an indefinable uncertain

future? On the other hand, some of us would rather championed the other

favored route of taking charge of our lives and construct our own path to

success and contentment as to meandering and walking the path which

the Lord God above has mapped out for us.

Patience and Faith is called for while heeding the voice of God in directing

us to which streams or rivers we should flow and swim along. Though all

of us struggle with the long and winding road of life with obstacles and a

whole load of burdensome challenges, just remember that we are God’s

clay and He is our Potter. When we plod along life’s precipices, do not

forget that a Potter is very patient when molding His clay. He needs to

reshape and remold till He is pleased and satisfied that the vessel will be

near perfect accordingly that reflects loving considerate traits along with

a great character. Through the midst of our living, we tend to be shifted

off or misshapen by drifting of from being the original intended shape but

our Potter will always be there at the wheel to fashioned us again and again.

The final product of that special beautiful piece of clay falls praise to the

molder and architect of design of our lives, the *One True God Yahweh*

who sits majestically above in His awesome heavens.

The pursuit of a successful life lies in the perception of the seeker. Though

one might achieve own’s harvest of fame and fortune, one might lose his

valuable time with himself or herself and his or her loved ones. That’s the

start of the growth of distant communication where it grows and grows

and creeps on like the vines until it’s so unreachable that all sources of

connections would have been severed. This will be the domino effect of

disintegration and dissolution of family unity, the onslaught of

misunderstandings and miscommunications which will then result in

divorces and which in turn will affect the psychological and emotional

well being of any child. The cycle of disturbed, troubled and unloved

children will have the tendency of unhealthy living standards such as

diving into alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, vices of robberies

and the list goes on and on.

In the aftermath of all these, societies break down and moral decay sets

in and that will definitely roller coast to a dysfunctional country whereby

productivity and resourcefulness of it’s citizens would be decreased

alarmingly and that’s a heavy critical blow of deficits that will spiral

a healthy economy agonizingly downwards. If this “distance-virus” is

not checked, remedied and healed soon enough, the country will suffer

greatly with the deficiencies of it’s people.

The irony of it all is that, though we are so closely and sometimes intimately

connected with the super linkage bandwidth of computers, there is still that

lingering tarrying wide, open, silent and empty void of interaction hovering

in cyberspace. To sum it up in conclusion, the distance between souls will

keep on germinating and growing until there is only that silent and eerie

stillness of interplay and interchange in the future.


© keziah boey – May 16th 2008



α

Ω

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back –

1. Time
2. Words
3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person –

1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose-

1. Hope
2. Peace
3. Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable –

1. Love
2. Family & Friends
3. Kindness

Three things in life that are never certain –

1. Fortune
2. Success
3. Dreams

Three things that make a person –

1. Commitment
2. Sincerity
3. Hard work

Three things that are Truly Constant 

     ♥

Our GOD and FATHER JEHOVAH

His SON Our Messiah JESUS CHRIST

GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT

Jesus-Our-Redeemer

Yeshua Our Messiah



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