Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God told Hosea to marry a prostitute – someone who, for all intents and purposes, is regularly paid for. After initially seeming as though Gomer had changed her ways, she proved herself unfaithful, falling back into her old ways. It’s not until she is deserted and sells herself into slavery that Hosea tries once more to be with her. He pays for her. There is no lower form of humanity than a person being bought or sold. This story of Hosea and Gomer parallels the state of God’s relationship with Israel – a people with whom God wants an intimate relationship, but every time they get close, they fall back into sinful habits – idolatry being the worst in His eyes; a form of spiritual adultery, as it were. However, much like Hosea never gave up on making the relationship work, going as far as to purchase his wife from an auction block, God never gave up on making his relationship with mankind work, going as far as to purchase us from a second death.
Romans 6:22-23 “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You may find temporary pleasure in things of the world, but it’s hard work trying to live without God. And the wage you earn for all that hard work is not remotely worth it. Why work so hard for so little to gain and so much to lose, when Jesus payed for our salvation with His blood, and offers it as a gift?
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 7:23 “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”
Jesus didn’t ransom us so we could continue living the way we want.
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, apeculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”
The word peculiar in this sense refers to being a possession that belongs to God.
In any other setting, any other context, the idea that a person has been purchased would be negative. It is only through Jesus that being bought is a good thing.
From turning broken pallets into tables and seating arrangements, to broken dressers being repurposed as bench seating with storage, to an old piano becoming a bookshelf, or an old TV set becoming an aquarium, there are many ways to save broken items from a date with the landfill. In an age in which we are trying desperately to reverse, or if nothing else, slow down the damage we’ve already done to our environment, repurposing broken items has become something of a phenomenon. DIY hacks are readily available, all but at the mention of the Google machine.
Psalm 51:16-17 (NLT) “You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
When we allow ourselves to be broken before God, he will pick up the pieces and reconstruct them, but this time for His glory. Like the piano becoming a bookcase, or pallets becoming furniture, you no longer serve the same purpose you did before you were broken, put back together, and repurposed by the hands that made you in the first place.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
It’s not until we allow ourselves to be broken before Him that He puts us back together for our intended purpose.
Isaiah 53:5 (KJV) “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Galatians 2:20 (NLT) “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
He was physically broken for us. We must now be broken (in spirit, in will, in emotions, in finances, in lifestyle) for Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
It’s been proven that when a bone breaks and heals, it becomes stronger than it originally was.
Excerpt from How to Speed Fracture Healing Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD
Those of us who have experienced a significant fracture likely recall first the pain of the injury, then we often focus our attention on the prospect of time in a cast or other form of extended immobilization. We imagine the discomfort and limitations that will ensue, and after all else settles down, we often wonder, “How strong are my bones anyway, and will I fracture again?” Nature, on the other hand, has no such questions, but moves swiftly to initiate healing. Guided by a complex intelligence that we do not yet fully understand, bone repairs itself — and over a few months is made whole again. The fracture self-repair process is spontaneous, natural, and seeks no direction from us, but what we do during this time is of unrecognized importance. The stage we set for healing greatly influences the speed, comfort, and completeness of the bone renewal process. Further, life-supporting changes made in response to a fracture can strengthen our entire skeleton and reduce the likelihood of future fractures.
Psalm 37:4-5 (KJV) “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Live for God, and His desires will replace yours.
In order for something to be used, it must be available. You cannot buy something that is not in stock. In order for certain things to be used, they would ideally be clean. You’re not going to eat off a dish from out of the sink that hasn’t yet been washed, or wear a shirt that was dug out of the bottom of the hamper, again not having been washed.
2 Timothy 2:20-21(KJV) “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Romans 12:1-2(KJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(As it is with dating, the least you can do is be clean and available.)
2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
If you’re conformed to the world, you’re not available. He doesn’t want your ability – he wants your availability. In the eyes of man, you could be the least talented, least qualified, least important person in the room. In the eyes of God, you can be used! Here’s proof:
~ Noah was a drunk
~ Abraham was too old
~ Isaac was a daydreamer
~ Jacob was a liar
~ Leah was ugly
~ Joseph was abused
~ Moses had a speech impediment
~ Balaam’s donkey wasn’t human
~ Gideon was afraid
~ Samson was a womanizer
~ Rahab was a prostitute
~ Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
~ David was an adulterer and a murderer
~ Elijah was depressed and wanted to die
~ Isaiah preached naked
~ Jonah ran from God
~ Naomi was a widow
~ Job went bankrupt
~ John the Baptist ate bugs
~ Peter denied Christ
~ The disciples fell asleep while praying
~ Martha worried about everything
~ The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
~ Zacchaeus was too small
~ Paul was too religious & was a murderer
~ Timothy had an ulcer
~ Lazarus was dead!
God can and will use anyone!
IT’S ALL GOOD!
Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things (bought, broken, and used) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Excerpted from a sermon preached by our Youth Pastor, Michael Lagle.
For full audios of our sermons, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!