MATTHEW 21:42-44 – Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
THEME OF THE DAY. THE PEOPLE GOD USES. Ask any spiritually healthy Christian if they want to be used by the Lord to influence people for Him, to encourage His people, and leave the sweet fragrance of Him everywhere you go, the response will be, “Of course. It is my heart’s desire to be used by Him.” Well, with the desire will come the prayer, “Lord, use me.” And from the desire turned prayer will be the answer from the Lord; an answer that begins equipping us to be used by Him. Be ready. It won’t be easy. It will be painful. It will require suffering. It will hurt, but it must be done. The last words of Jesus in today’s scripture describes what the Lord must do if His people want to be used by Him – “And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” He must break us. And there are two areas of breaking He must do in the hearts and lives of His people.
First, the Lord must break the would-be disciple He wants to use from the chains of selfishness. A self-centered follower of Christ will be a fruitless follower of Christ. Paul David Tripp said, “The DNA of sin is selfishness.” If our lives are out of balance with self-interests dominating our lives at the expense of the interests of Christ and others, God will break us from this bondage. And these chains of a self-centered life are not easily broken but broken they will be in the Christian wanting to be used by the Lord. The place this brokenness occurs is at the cross of Christ. It is the application of . . . I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
The second area of brokenness necessary to make us effective disciples of Christ is the breaking of the chains of love for the world and its associated obsession with ease and comfort. This basically means a willingness to deny ourselves the things of the world for the investment in what matters most in the next world – people and God’s will. The Apostle Paul again said the cross of Christ is where this brokenness must occur – But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14). The evidence this breaking is occurring is our investment in the eternal more than the temporal.
The people God uses. His people; His broken people – broken from the chains of selfishness and the world. May we be such a people that pray, “Lord, use me” and then gladly submit to His work of making us useful; the work of brokenness.
PRAYER: “Father, when I pray to be used by You, help me submit to the necessary work in me to be used.”
QUOTE: “The only people God uses are broken people; broken from the bondages of the world and themselves.”