Maximum usefulness

Maximum usefulness

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son – Romans 8:29

James 1:2-4

 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

“The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime” (Alan Redpath ). Conversion happens in a moment in time. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are instantly born again and become part of the Father’s Forever Family. The development of sagacity and spirituality takes many years. The Father uses adversity, and often brings us to the end of ourselves to produce maturity. Brokenness is not a one-time shot. The Father often breaks us multiple times on the road to maturity.

The journey to maturity is often undertaken in one of two possible routes. One is man’s way, the other is the Father’s way.

Many of the Father’s children struggle to get to the “top.” They strive and struggle to accomplish, accumulate, and acquire stuff or achievements along the way. The task is grievous and actually never really succeeds. How much is enough? How can we ever know when we have achieved our goals? Sadly, their striving continues throughout their life without ever achieving what we seek.

The Father’s way of brokenness is quite the opposite. Rather than accumulating stuff, we release it and discard it. Wrong thinking is to be replaced by Truth. Misplaced priorities are to be rearranged to align with those of the Father. Bad habits, and even addictions, are to be transformed and replaced by the habits and passions the Father longs for us to secure and maintain.

The Father’s game plan is to use brokenness again and again to fulfill His dream and purpose for our lives: maximum usefulness. In the end, we surrender and simply say, “All that I am and all that I have is Yours Father. He is in me and I am in Him, and that’s all that matters” (Stanley).

Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.

The Father’s goals for us are clearly in His word. Simply stated, the Father wants us to become like His Son. He wants us to be whole and complete and lacking in nothing. He wants us to exude sweet smelling aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14). We are to be characterized by faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

REFLECT & PRAY

“Brokenness is the Father’s requirement for maximum usefulness” (Stanley).

Father life is filled with tears and difficulties. Enable me to recognize and accept the troubles and trials I face as opportunities to grow and develop endurance and completeness.

INSIGHT

James 1:2-4

 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance has its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We live in an age of fragmentation. As children of the King when trials and troubles come our way, they put our faith to the test. There are two possible responses to any test. When they are faced appropriately, they are harmless and produce the desired result, in particular, endurance. When endurance is vibrant and developed it produces the desired end of making us complete, lacking in nothing. Instead of being fragmented or shattered within, when our endurance is fully developed, we are whole.

The Greek word translated complete, is holokleros. Something which is Holokleros, is complete in every part, whole, entire, needing nothing. The Greek term translated lacking is leipo. Leipo means to lack, be wanting, to be deficient. The entire process is incremental in nature. When the process is complete, we are fully formed and lacking in nothing, everything we need, we have.

Picture a caterpillar being transformed into a beautiful, lithe butterfly in its cocoon. It only emerges when all the parts are fully formed.

“God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times .… Warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades .… Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of battle, and should you not use every application to come off conqueror?” (Charles Spurgeon)

The Father wants all of His children to be of maximum usefulness for the tasks He has in mind for each of us. To prepare us for future service, He shatters our self-reliance. Each child discovers that only the Lord Jesus Christ can take our weakness and create strength from it.

Keep in mind that God uses brokenness to deepen our understanding in at least three ways:

To live a life of maximum usefulness, often seems difficult, but it is not merely difficult, it is impossible for mere humans. It requires the supernatural empowerment from the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

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