Summary: ...he who has been forgiven much, loves much! Only the broken are useful for His purposes.
Empty and Broken
The road of my life is pocked with “empty and broken” moments, as I’m sure many of your lives have been. Growing up in a broken family afforded me ‘the opportunity to travel.” “See the world! …traveling back and forth between mom and dad, Chicago and Tulsa on a greyhound bus.” Abusive family members, some who were abused in a variety of ways; and self-seeking adults; at times, having an ‘every man for himself,’ attitude , and the children left to fend for themselves; Experiencing great blessing and kindness at one time, and utter confusion at others that turned some days, months, and even years, into a blurry mess. but… His grace was greater still!
My upbringing wasn’t perfect. They were imperfections of life. But you’ve experienced them too. Anyone experience one or two in their lives growing up or recently in your own families? They are imperfections of life; we all have them. In fact, Andy Stanley in his little book, How good is good enough, says that the mortality rates in America are very high. Some of you are going to get what that means somewhere between Dinner and Dessert today. But it’s not our mortality that should be our priority. No. It’s our spiritual condition which is the most serious of our ailments. And, it gets worse. Even our most spiritual of activities is so tainted with ourselves that it is unbearable for God to even smell.
ROMAN’S 3:23: For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – we are not only mortal, but we are sinful.
But, you see, the greatest problem that we have isn’t that we’re sinful. No, the greatest problem is that we fail to recognize and confess our sinfulness.
So, the message of the Lord to my and your hearts today is that we are sinners! Now, this isn’t “breaking headline news,” but it’s the flaw that the enemy most uses to keep us from worshipping the Lordship of Christ and blessing us for our worship.
The recipe, then, for our Ingrown Eyeballs Disease, is to be…Empty and Broken
I. The utility of emptiness
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
8 And the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Sidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand.
12 And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it forth unto me, and afterward make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, The jar of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that Jehovah sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 The jar of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake by Elijah.
1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear Jehovah: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two children to be bondmen.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me; what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thy handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4 And thou shalt go in, and shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and pour out into all those vessels; and thou shalt set aside that which is full.