Summary: God is in the business of healing broken people. Today we look at four steps God uses to move us beyond the brokenness.
Intro.: You probably remember the children’s ditty –
Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses
And all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again
1. When humans are involved, it too often is true. We can’t rebuild the broken people.
2. But God is very capable of rebuilding broken people.
3. Today I want spend a few minutes looking at the God’s process of rebuilding broken people.
4. I want to look at four steps God uses to rebuild broken people.
Read: Exodus 29:35-36
1. As we look at Exodus, God is starting something new.
2. For the first time in the history of the Israelites, He is setting aside men to serve as Priests.
3. As we shall see, these are ordinary men, chosen not for their spirituality, but for because they were related to Moses brother, Aaron.
4. Though Exodus contains a great deal of detail concerning the process of preparing these men for service, the two verses we are looking at summarize the events that will lead to their being prepared for service.
5. They also summarize the preparation we go through as God prepares us for service.
T.S. Exodus 29:35-36 summarizes the four steps that we must go through in our preparation for service.
I. Step One = Sacrifice
A. Brokenness seems so far away. After all, it seems I hear so often, Christians are supposed to be perfect
B. Yet when God is putting together the spiritual leaders of His people – he calls on them to offer a sin offering. Not for the people, but for themselves.
C. It seems that God has been willing to use broken people throughout history – adulterers, prostitutes, insecure men and women who thought they had nothing to say. Jesus did the same thing for the church – he did not call perfect people for service. He called broken people – people who would deny the son of God, people who would tried to destroy the early church.
D. But there is more – these broken people were asked to sacrifice.
(Appl.) We are not called on to sacrifice bulls or doves. Christ did that work on the Cross. But we are called on to sacrifice – it might be finances, it may be our lifestyle, it may be our time. I don’t know what God is asking you to sacrifice – but I suspect that you do. What is it that you are hanging on to at all costs – and God is asking you for.
(Ill.) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor in Hitler’s Germany, called his flock to follow Christ not Hitler. His most famous book is entitled The Cost of Discipleship. For his courage in calling the church to accountability, he paid with his life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer recognized that following Christ was not an easy choice – there was a cost. Most of us will not need to make the sacrifice made by Bonhoeffer – but then what will be our sacrifice.
II. Step Two = Purify
(Ill.) I take a bath every day (aren’t you glad). I use plenty of water and soap. I want to be sure that I get red of all the dirt. I suppose I could use just soap – but it wouldn’t do much good. Using just water might be a bit better - but there would still be dirt and oil that that I had gathered during the week.
A. Kata – a Hebrew word meaning clean or purify. Not just physically clean, but also a medical term (meaning free of diseases such as leprosy) or spiritually clean.
B. We are called to put off that which keeps us from being close to God and to put on that which will become more like Him
(Ill.) Take a look at Colossians 3:5-10 – We are called to “put to death” those things which keep us away from God – we are called to sacrifice. But there is something more. We are also called to “Put on the new man” We can put aside that which keeps us from God, but something will replace it – something more like God or something less like God.
C. Sacrifice is needed – but it cannot stop there.
III. Step Three = Anoint
A. God has a job for us to do. Both as a church and as individuals.
B. Anointing equips us for the task he has for us. We are not called to serve without being equipped for all that God expects of us.
C. The Christians anointing occurs when he or she comes to Jesus and recognizes him or her as their savior. We are anointed as God bestows His Holy Spirit on us
(Ill.) Throughout history, the Holy Spirit has been represented by two symbols – the most common I a fire – living flame. We see it every time we come across the United Methodist logo – where the cross and flame come together. The other symbol that has traditionally represented the Holy Spirit is oil – oil that is poured out or is being poured to overflowing. Interestingly, that is also the root of our English work “anoint”. When you came to Christ, you were anointed with the Holy Spirit.