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Covid-19 Devotionals

Better Than it Was

We needed to do a little moving of things in our house to facilitate some maintenance work. One piece of furniture was a pine double bunk bed that needed to be moved. For a few months, Jenny has been asking me to repair a pine slate on the bottom bunk that is part of the base to hold the mattress. Our grandson Luke seems to think he caused the break to the slate when they visited South Africa in October 2019 … but it broke on a knot in the wood. It would have broken whoever was on the bed! The break was quite peculiar, as it broke around the knot and then jagged away from the knot.

The best practice would be to replace the wood, but the thickness was a problem. It was 2mm thicker than any pine wood I have. The slated base is strapped together from headboard to footboard with gaps in between. So, I decided to glue the original break, clamping it together. Then, I glued another piece of pine on the bottom of the slate, leaving gaps on either side for it to fit snugly into the base. The new piece was glued and screwed to the old, making it far stronger than the original piece. I took the old piece of wood and made it better than it was!

Before anyone comes to faith in Jesus Christ, they are broken. By this, I don’t mean their body is broken or that they are dysfunctional or delinquent. I don’t mean they are necessary a bad citizen or uneducated or terrible members of the family. Neither do I mean they are cheaters or impossible employees. Actually, it is likely many of them are well adjusted, contributing members of society. By broken, I mean ‘broken because of sin’.

The awful effects of sin upon the heart of man is such that spiritually you are broken, helpless and destined for the worst future in eternal damnation. Brokenness includes the potential to lies, anger, disrespect, lust, covet, jealousy, sexual impurity, filthy language, drunkenness, envy, pride, idolatry, etc. Brokenness causes all sorts of interpersonal conflicts with families, work places, amongst friends, neighbours, including road rage! The condition of man is one of absolute brokenness but will never be understood until the Gospel is heard, the Holy Spirit convicts and the individual becomes aware of just how rotten he or she is before God. Brokenness is so helpless that unless the Almighty God works in the soul, brokenness will never be understood or believed!

Once a person responds favourably to the workings of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging guilt before God, and receives the Gospel in truth through confessing sin, repenting and proving repentance, that person is redeemed from the gutters of brokenness and repaired spiritually. It starts when God’s Spirit descends with holy newness, lifting the soul out of the womb of evil (brokenness), instilling true life, inclining that soul to desire Jesus as Lord, King and Master.

Consider:

Jn 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

The two terms “Spirit gives birth” and “You must be born again” are nicely explained by Peter:

1Pe 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

See that? Birthed into a “living hope” through Jesus’ resurrection and birthed into “an inheritance”, both secured in heaven and protected by God’s power. The first thing you see here is that the new birth/being born again results in eternal security.

The next thing it means is:

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

You are a new creation! Think back to me repairing that pine slate. I repaired the old one, making it better than it was. That’s the sort of thing God does to your soul. He takes the corrupted, broken, sin ridden soul and makes it better than it was. He takes the rotten and makes it fresh, new, life-filled, clean. He takes the weak and makes it strong. He takes the sin-stained and makes it pure and spotless. He bathes the soul in the precious blood of Jesus. He takes the unacceptable and makes it more than acceptable to the Father.

The bed’s base is now strong and ready to take weight and will sustain itself. Once the soul is created new in Christ, it is able to handle the worst spiritual onslaughts and temptations because apart from being a new creation, it has the Creator to sustain, protect and provide every resource required to prevent returning to brokenness! 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells you that your body (that is, the complete you) is a temple of the Holy Spirit. He says you are not your own … you belong to God. Because of this, He says:

1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

In His faithfulness to what He owns (you), He will always “provide a way out” so that you can stand in completeness and not fall into brokenness … yet … so often this happens because you don’t make use of His resources!

Dear God, thank you for making me a new creation through the holy blood sacrifice of your beloved Son. Forgive me for not making use of your provisions that prevent returning to brokenness. Strengthen my love and faith. Help me to appreciate my newness in Christ and enable me to live in newness for Your Glory. Amen.

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