One of the ways I deal with and process life is to write.  Today I write as one who struggles to be more like Jesus… but sees just how little like Christ I really am.  The motivation for today’s post includes the following: 1) The message series I’m delivering; 2) Quotes from The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbs; 3) Current events; 4) Scripture God has been bringing to my mind for reflection.

The Message Series… I have always believed that messages I deliver are first for me and then for the building up of God’s people.  If I haven’t applied and lived them, there will not be passion and truth coming from me as I deliver them.  Yesterday (2/24/08) I mentioned that everyone has a blind spot regarding the sin in their life (And that includes the preacher).  I also said that God loves us too much to allow sin that is in our life, that we cannot see because of our blind spots, to remain untouched.  I concluded by saying that God is much like a sculptor of marble… He knocks off everything that doesn’t look like what he wants the finished product to portray… Christ likeness.  This is true…

  Quotes from The Bruised Reed… “After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, not oaks.”  “Christ will not break the bruised reed.”  “A bruised reed is a person brought to see their sin, which bruises most of all.”  “A person truly bruised judges sin the greatest evil.”  “Working our hearts to such great grief (over sin) will make it more odious to us than punishment, until we offer holy violence against sin.”  “Christ values us by what we shall be, not what we now are” (I like that one).  “None are so aware of corruption as those who are most alive” (Read again!  Translation, The closer to God we are, the more we will recognize our own sin.).  Last one… “If God brings us into the trial He will be with us in the trial, and at length bring us out, more refined.  We will lose nothing but dross.”

The Scripture… Romans 7:15-25; 2 Corinthians 7:9-12; Hebrews 12:4-11; Isaiah 42:3; 2 Corinthians 5:18.

  Application… The Point To Ponder.  God knocks off of us… like a sculptor chipping away to make a marble masterpiece… everything that doesn’t look like Christ.  He uses the hammer and chisels of love… adversity… compassion… difficulty… revelation… and comfort to do His work.  Our call is to be still, listen, and be even as clay in the hands of The Potter who is making us into a vessel of honor that reflects the love of Christ to all people.  If we remain as marble… the work He performs is much more violent but still for our good.