Matthew West ~ Broken Things

Broken Things

If grace is a kingdom
I’ve stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all of the mistakes I’ve made
But I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown?”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring You so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I am all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use
It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
The misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside

Publishing: © 2017 Atlas Music Publishing / House Of Story Music Publishing / Two Story House Music / Highly Combustible Music (ASCAP) / Housermania Music/ (ASCAP) (admin. by Amplified Administration)

Brokenness Is The Key To Salvation And Spiritual Growth

“If one does not understand brokenness, then they do not understand the Bible, salvation, or Christian growth and discipleship.”    Pastor Steve

A Few Biblical Examples Of Brokenness:

1)The Apostle Paul

2)The Life Of Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ, Especially His Experience From Gethsemane To Golgotha, Leading To Our Opportunity For Salvation

3)Old Testament Joseph

4)Moses

5)The Prodigal Son Verses His Elder Brother

6)The Contrast Of The Publican And The Pharisee Praying In The Temple

7)Job’s Amazing Suffering

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1 Peter 4:12-19  King James Version (KJV)

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain
Life Principles Bible Notes

Jeremy Camp – A Ministry Built On Personal Loss, Brokenness, And Ultimate Strength From The Lord

Jeremy Camp’s life was filled with suffering, prior to the ministry that has placed him in the public eye across the globe.  His wife Melissa died on February 5, 2001.  That was the springboard for his music ever since.  Now one can sense pain and suffering as a theme in all of his music, yet he finds his strength in the Lord.  His music is an autobiography.  His mere presence on videos, pictures, appearances and songs connotes one who is like his Savior – “a Man of sorrows.”   …or like Jeremiah, the weeping prophet.  Underlying his melancholy exterior, however, is a total inner peace and trust in his Lord.  He is a marvelous reflection of our suffering Savior and the Lamb of God.  Key the following link for his story:

http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/interviews/700club_jeremycamp02122008.aspx

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Jeremy Camp: Melissa’s Dying Wish

Melissa Camp’s Tribute Page
Interview: I Still Believe
Audra Smith Haney – 700 Club Producer

Award-winning musician, Jeremy Camp leads worship all over the world every year. Jeremy says his success was born out of a life filled with personal suffering. It began with his marriage to Melissa, a marriage Jeremy entered into knowing that the woman he loved was dying.
Jeremy remembers the day he met Melissa. He was leading worship for a church group in San Diego.
“I was singing and I looked up, and there was Melissa with her hands raised up so high. You could tell she was really worshipping Jesus,” remembers Jeremy. “I kind of joke around [now] and say, ‘I hit the wrong chords and sang a little flat.’ ”
After only a few months of dating, Jeremy was in love.
“I said, Melissa, I need to tell you something, ‘I love you.’ But she said, ‘I don’t feel the same way.’ ”
However a few months later, Jeremy received a call from Melissa, who gave him some devastating news. She had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”
“I remember walking into the hospital, and she had just found out she had cancer, and she was smiling. I was like, ‘Why is she smiling?’ ”
“She [Melissa] said, ‘I am doing okay, because I have been thinking, if I were to die from this cancer, if one person were to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, it would all be worth it.’ ”
“I was driving home that night, and I was crying, and all these emotions were coming up again. I said, ‘Lord, if she tells me she loves me, I will marry her.’ I don’t even know why I said it. It was just God preparing my heart.”
Jeremy remembers, “So, about two weeks later, I got a phone call. She [Melissa] said, ‘I need to talk to you.’ She said, ‘I know now why God wanted it to be just me and Him because He wanted to prepare me for this. But I have been praying for you for a long time, and I wanted to let you know, ‘I love you.’ ”
“It was like, we both just knew. We just knew,” says Jeremy.
Five months later, Jeremy and Melissa wed. However, during their honeymoon, Melissa started having serious stomach pains.
“So, we got back to the doctor when the honeymoon was over and the doctors pulled me aside. They had done some tests on her. They said, ‘The cancer is back.’ So I was like, ‘What can we do?’ There is nothing else we can do. It is all over her body. The doctor told Melissa she had months, maybe weeks, to live.”
“I remember her [Melissa] saying, ‘Jeremy I just want to worship the Lord right now.’ So, of course, I would pull the guitar out. It’s those moments, and we had more of those moments, where it’s not about our circumstances when we worship the Lord. He is worthy to be praised no matter what we are going through.”
On February 5, 2001, at 21-years-old, Melissa died.
“I was on my knees and I remember her sister saying, ‘She is with Jesus now.’ A grief fell over me that I can’t describe. The weight of her suffering is over, but the grief is she’s gone. We always had worship music playing in the background. I remember the Lord speaking into my heart and saying, ‘Jeremy, I want you to stand up and worship me.’ I remember standing up and raising my hands.”
“That was such a good act of obedience for me, just saying, ‘Lord, I don’t want to do this, but I know this is why I am here.’ ”
“I remember not wanting to ask God, ‘Why,’ but I finally did, and God always spoke to me. He said, ‘Jeremy, I don’t always want you to know why, because I want you to have a testimony of walking by faith.’ And I had written that song previously on our honeymoon, Walk By Faith.”
“And I look at these songs that come from it, Walk by Faith and I Still Believe. I wrote two weeks after she went to be with the Lord,” says Jeremy. “I have seen story after story of God using this whole thing to show His faithfulness to encourage people. That blows my mind realizing that Melissa made that statement, that if even one person accepts Christ. I hear thousands and thousands of stories. I remember being on my face after that realization and God said, ‘Jeremy, ‘Remember.’ ”
“When I get distracted, when I lose sight of what is going on, God will say, ‘Look at how many thousands!’ ”
Today, Jeremy is re-married and his thriving ministry is shared with his new wife, recording artist Adrienne Camp.
“From that, you have the ministry of God bringing us together — Adrienne and I, and what we have together to minister to people. And from that, two beautiful girls, who have changed my life radically. My encouragement… .do not lose heart, because our affliction is just momentary and what He is preparing for us, what He has in store for us, it will blow us away.”
“Imagine no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain… and one day we will forever be with Jesus,” he says.

…his songs to follow-

 

 

Exodus 2:11-15, Moses’ School – The University Of Hard Knocks ~ Part 3 Of 3

Course #4 – Intermediate Loneliness   In a period of twenty four hours, Moses found himself isolated from every relationship that he ever enjoyed.  One day he was a leader in the Pharaoh’s palace, the next day he led scorpions in the desert.  God led Moses into the desert to teach him to lead.  A leader is not a leader until he has learned to follow.  God would not use Moses until Moses had learned to submit to God and to submit to His timetable.  So Moses was alone.  God, in His wisdom, at times will separate us from our normal network of family and friends.  Isolation is an opportunity to get to know Him better.

Conclusion   Moses felt like an absolute failure.  He lost his career, status, reputation, family, friends and future.  But he was not a failure.  God took him aside to take some courses.  These courses have to do with character development.  God was not trying to ruin Moses.  He was rebuilding him so that he could be used strategically.  …And the people God loves to use most are those who have learned to depend completely upon Him.  For many of us self-sufficient, confident types, that does not come easily.  Our society is intoxicated with worldly success.  But if you know Christ, you know that FAILURE IS THE BACKDOOR OF SUCCESS.  God uses our failure to equip us for future success.  Has God enrolled you in a Masters of Character Acquisition (M.C.A.) program?  That is good company my friend.  God does not enroll anyone, only those with a special work.  When you graduate, there will be no ceremony, sheepskin diploma, class ring, and a cap and gown.  But you will have the approval and certification of the Master Himself.  …And God does not make any junk!

Failure is the backdoor of God turning you into a success, and fully equipping you for the Master’s use.

In Christ, Pastor Steve

Exodus 2:11-15, Moses’ School – The University Of Hard Knocks ~ Part 2 Of 3

Course #2 – Advanced Obscurity   Moses went from the penthouse to the outhouse.  A somebody to a nobody.  Moses was overconfident.  The remedy for overconfidence – obscurity.  Midian is a barren area without restaurants, servants and chariots.  It is a great place to learn obscurity.  In 40 years of obscurity, solitude and quietness, God rebuilt Moses from the inside out.  Illustrations- Elijah had his Tishbia and Beersheba, Jesus had His wilderness, and Paul had his Arabia.  God still enrolls folks in Advanced Obscurity.  As we frantically pursue the American Dream, we do not have time for this.  That is why God steps in and changes our circumstances.  Obscurity is tough, especially when you are in a hurry to climb the corporate ladder.  But God wants you to climb the CHARACTER ladder.  TRIALS build character.  Perhaps it is an obscure job going nowhere; maybe it is an illness that knocked you down and took you from your routine.  It is here, that God works on us.  But we often do not understand what God is doing, and that leads to our next course:

Course #3 – Remedial Waiting   Moses was nearly 40, and in a hurry to get with the program.  Peter Marshall states:  “We are in such a hurry that we hate to miss one panel of a revolving door.”  You and I are in a hurry, and God is not.  God does not fax character to us overnight.  It takes a lot of time to build character.  Can you believe God took 40 years to build character into the life of Moses?  Most of us want character in 40 minutes.  Moses was in a hurry to deliver his suffering countrymen, but he overlooked one thing – Character development comes before ministry.  Perhaps you are waiting – for a promotion, to conceive a child, waiting for a business to turn around, waiting for employment, for a house to sell, etc., etc.  We are right on His schedule.  He is working on your character, molding it as He sees the need.

Exodus 2:11-15, Moses’ School – The University Of Hard Knocks ~ Part 1 Of 3

Introduction- At the age of 39, Moses was a man of power, prestige, education, wealth, and a career of unbelievable potential.  He was worldly successful.  At the age of 40, God called Moses to go back to school.  He already had an Egyptian Bachelor of Arts, a Masters Degree, and a PhD as well.  Moses lacked an MCA – a Masters in Character Acquisition.  It is not an easy degree.  People do not sign up for it; events lead to it.  Events such as bankruptcy, divorce, moral failure, drug abuse, and major setbacks.  It is a tough program consisting of four courses plus God’s electives that He selects.  It took 40 years for Moses to graduate.  Moses lived to be 120 years old.  For his first 40 years he was an unqualified success, for the next 40 years he was an undisputed failure, and for his last 40 years he was fit for the Master’s use.  After Moses was a worldly success, God enrolled him for a 40 year course at the University of Midian in the desert.  The four courses he took were 1)Unemployment 101, 2)Advanced Obscurity, 3)Remedial Waiting, and 4)Intermediate Loneliness.

Course #1 – Unemployment 101   Moses was a scholar, statesman and a soldier.  With these credentials, jobs come looking for you.  Moses was a success.  He had a Nile beachfront summer home.  He was financially well off and living on cruise control.  Sudden unemployment had to be a shock to the Golden Boy.  He was stunned, hurt, wounded, embarrassed and humiliated.  Unemployment 101 is a tough course to take, and attacks a man’s self worth.  One has no idea how long this course is going to last.  In most courses, you know when the midterm and final exams are coming….and then the class will be over.  In Unemployment 101, the professor does not hand out a syllabus signifying the date of the class and the specific teachings.  And that is the source of your suffering.  How long is this trial going to last?  Here is the good news about Unemployment 101.  This challenging course will cause you to suffer, but it is the suffering that qualifies you for the ministry.  You may think, “I am not in full time ministry!”  But if you know Jesus Christ, then you are in the ministry…and it is the suffering that will equip you for the unique task that God has set aside specifically for you.  He has not shelved you.  He is simply retooling, and you are the tool.

When Satan Opposes The Will Of God In Your Life, Have Great Faith…

Mark 11:23 King James Version (KJV)
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

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Mountains are barriers to progress and must be seen here metaphorically as obstacles to the will of God.  Whenever we try to make forward progress with the gospel, all sorts of barriers seem to hinder.  The only way to remove them is through believing prayer.  So our daily challenge is to seriously pray for God’s work to prosper.  -Paul Young

Peter, though confined and chained, prayer prevailed and brought him out; When Elijah prayed, it rained, after three long years of drought.  -Newton  

The Lord Allows Us To Suffer So That We Can Grow In Faith And Provide Counsel To Others

Job 4:5  King James Version (KJV)
5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Job was a good man who gave excellent advice but until he suffered himself, his advice was head knowledge only.  The Lord allows suffering and sorrow to befall his dear people at times so they have the moral right and authority to give authentic help and words of wisdom.  When they say “I know” they really mean it.  Never, if possible, minister beyond your experience.  -Brian Russell

Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share?  Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.  -J. S. Scriven

The Chinese Believers Pray For American Christians To Suffer Persecution So We Can Understand The Suffering Of Jesus, And The Way That The Chinese Believers Have Suffered For The Cause Of Christ. The Following Devotional Is Eye Opening. In His Service, Pastor Steve

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Love Without Borders

November 18, 2016

 

Read: Luke 22:39–46
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10; Hebrews 13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.—John 15:13

During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, missionaries trapped in a home in T’ai Yüan Fu decided their only hope for survival rested on running through the crowd that was calling for their deaths. Aided by weapons they held, they escaped the immediate threat. However, Edith Coombs, noticing that two of her injured Chinese students had not escaped, raced back into danger. She rescued one, but stumbled on her return trip for the second student and was killed.

Meanwhile, missionaries in Hsin Chou district had escaped and were hiding in the countryside, accompanied by their Chinese friend Ho Tsuen Kwei. But he was captured while scouting an escape route for his friends in hiding and was martyred for refusing to reveal their location.

In the lives of Edith Coombs and Tsuen Kwei we see a love that rises above cultural or national character. Their sacrifice reminds us of the greater grace and love of our Savior.

As Jesus awaited His arrest and subsequent execution, He prayed earnestly, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” But He concluded that request with this resolute example of courage, love, and sacrifice: “Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). His death and resurrection made our eternal lives possible. —Randy Kilgore

Lord, may the world see our love for each other—and the deeds that come from it—as a great testimony to the bond of unity we have in You. May they want to know You too.

Only the light of Christ’s love can eliminate the darkness of hatred.
INSIGHT: The Bible speaks of God’s love for us in terms of a generous sacrifice. The apostle John writes of a God who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). To prove that God truly loves us, John directs us to Jesus’s sacrificial death: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). Alluding to His own sacrificial love just hours before He went to the cross, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Sim Kay Tee

Suffering / Part 8 Of 8

Why Christians Suffer

continued from Part 7…

9)Suffering Teaches Us To Pray

You have heard the saying  “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  Due to our sinful human natures, sometimes the only time we pray is when our backs are to the wall, and there is no one else to turn to.  Pray is our last resort.

10)Suffering Brings Rewards

There is a special reward for those who suffer patiently for Him.  Paul tells us in II Timothy 2:12  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”  We are made perfect through suffering.  Steel is iron plus fire.  Soil is rock plus crushing.  The Christian life is faith plus suffering.  It is God’s way of doing things.  It is God’s own way of making us what we ought to be.  God’s way is through fire, and through the fire He will perfect us.

Christianity does not promise us an easy walk.  We will always encounter many trials and tribulations, but if we look to Jesus in faith, He will carry our load.  Christianity promises us  1)all the grace of God we need, 2)a peace of mind beyond understanding that only a Christian has, and 3)we know we are heaven bound once we are “born again.”  What more can we ask for?  Are you suffering?  Then thank the Lord for it because it shows you are growing in Christ. 

Continued from Part 7…  This entire eight part series on suffering is all listed under the category entitled Devotionals/Inspirationals.