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I believe one of the clearest examples of brokenness was illustrated by The Lord Jesus by using contrast. So clear in fact, it needs no interpretation. Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
I just finished reading an interesting & most thought provoking portion from C. S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity." His remarkable understanding never ceases to amaze me. GOD was most generous to Mr. Lewis as he studied GOD's Word. Lewis reminded me that when we come to Christ, we are all fields of weeds, thistles, tares, unable to produce fruit, good or bad, and the most difficult thing we will ever do is to turn our entire life over to Christ. It is a breaking that will remain part of our life until we leave this earth for heaven. We have, for so long, been trying to do two things that are diametrically opposed; "keep our personal happiness as our great aim in life and yet at the same time be good." We all struggle with this before we are born again. We focus our lives on our accomplishments, our ambitions and our pleasures. But at the same time we are trying to be a "good person." Sadly, it is impossible for us to do both. Jesus made it clear that fruit can't be gathered from a field of thistle. Matthew 7:16 Without His grace, without the work of His blood in our lives, we are that field. It can't produce fruit of any kind. Lewis said, "If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown." As Christians, we try diligently to allow only sow good seed into our hearts. But we must remember that until we came to Christ, the field of our heart was tainted and other seed had been sown there for a long time, perhaps even as our parents were trying to keep the weeds, thistles and tares from taking root. The parable of the "sower" is recorded on Matthew 13, Mark 4 & Luke 8. And like most of us, I have heard many sermons preached on those verses. But the one thing that has often escaped notice is that we all have dry soil, shallow soil, even rocky soil filled with all manner of debris that prevents good seed from growing. But the one thing that is different about the soil of our hearts compared to that of those who do not know Christ, is that while our soil is not perfect, it is born again. It has been changed. It is now suitable for good seed. And as His Holy Spirit works in our lives, breaking up the clods, sifting out the rocks and debris, keeping it moist and constantly on guard for the tares and thistles as they sprout, we become a field that will produce good fruit, even tall golden wheat. But as anyone who has ever begun with a bare plot of ground, turning that plot into a garden takes work, The plot itself does not do the work, and unlike us, the plot can't resist. The one who holds the plow does the work and will have His way. We have all felt the sting of the plow as we are broken up, no longer to be barren but bringing forth His fruit. That fruitfulness comes only with brokenness. As painful as it is, we should all be praying that He brings against our barrenness, the sting of that plow!
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