In our church, whoever preaches on Sunday writes up a weekly devotional to go along with the sermon. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes along with it.
Encounter: Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Looking hard at the relationship between David and Absalom this last week highlights the deep dysfunction and brokenness that mark many of our lives. It does seem that there are several ways to deal with this sort of chaos when it breaks into our lives. We can:
1) Pretend it isn't there. Actually, what is worse than pretending it is there is being totally oblivious to the fact that we have food all down our shirt as we go on with our normal lives. Every one of us has been a victim of our context, by others, and by ourselves. This has caused us to live with a limp, and to pretend it isn't there is just foolish.
2) Embrace your dysfunction. In fact you are offended that someone might say that your uniqueness, the thing that makes you one of a kind and has made you into the beautiful butterfly is actually a broken version of yourself and you are in need of healing. So, instead of reflecting on some of the darker and more hidden parts of your personality and past to root out the garbage, you celebrate it.
3) Try really hard to overcome it. This is my favorite strategy. Identifying the problem is actually easy. I love finding out how messed up I am. I love pointing the fingers at others, and of myself. But once that part is done, I then do the hard work of trying with all my might to live like that stuff didn't wreck me as badly as it really did. I white knuckle my behavior to present like I am the whole person I long to be. But, like all things that take serious effort, you eventually get tired and give up. This makes this strategy destined to fail as well. Which leads us to the last option:
4) Allow Jesus to redeem it and be glorified in it. Lets face it, you and I are simply jars of clay, cracked, but not crushed. Instead of trying to glue ourselves back together, there is relief, joy, and redemption, to simply allow the Holy Spirit to enter in and begin to have His way in our lives. And when that happens, without us even realizing it, God begins to bring healing, joy, restoration, and redemption. We are now on the path of our new plan A, and you know this is the case because it will always point back to God!
What way is most natural when you think of your own dysfunction, family of origin issues, or simply the way the world and even your own choices have crushed you?
What would it look like to put your effort in spiritual formation and allowing Jesus to simply have access to your pain and brokenness?
What does Jesus say when you pray, "Search me and know my heart, test my anxious thoughts, reveal any offensive ways in me, and lead me along the path of everlasting life?"
BE A BLESSING:
If you are severely broken in need of healing and redemption, how can you extend grace and mercy and forgiveness to others in your life who have wronged you? (Most likely out of their own woundedness?)
This path of healing, redemption and forgiveness is brutal, but in the end brings hope and life. And in the end will always bring reconciliation. Who are you going to invite along with you on this journey? Who is someone that is distant to you that you are going to move towards?
I pray you find peace as you simply allow Jesus to form you and heal your broken heart!