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March 24, 2022

God Can Use Broken Vessels

God Can Use Broken Vessels

Did your parent ever tell you to "Don't throw the ball in the house"?
What Happened when you disobeyed and broke a bowl, plate, or special figurine?
Did you try to hide what you did by gluing the broken pieces back together?

More than likely after your parents found out and the ceramic ware couldn't be fixed it was thrown out in the trash.
You probably feel the same way after some of the things that have happened in your life that you are junk and that God has no need for you and just discards you.

In this episode, I share about how God can use the broken pieces of your life to create something wonderful and even more valuable that the original.

I talk about how a trip to St. Peterburg, Russia and seeing the mosaic artwork at the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood reminded me of how God can use those broken pieces to make a masterpiece.

I also share about the ancient Japanese artform called "Kintsugi" and how an artist will take a broken ceramic ware and add something special to fill the cracks to make it more valuable than before.

Isaiah 64:8
Jeremiah 18:4
Ephesians 2:10

To check out the music in this episode:
Introduction- "Dust till Dawn" by Dusty Decks https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/FhKgzwY2Jm/

"Broken Pieces" by Gavin Luke https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/J5X91AXv9G/


As a kid growing up, did your mom tell you “Don’t throw the ball in the house!” Then one day while she had gone to the store and left you alone with your siblings or friends and you decided to play catch or keep away from them. In the middle of goofing around you accidentally hit or bumped a vase, decorative plate or special figurine. Did it seem like everything went in slow motion as it fell to the floor and shattered into pieces?

Then the panic set in of what is going to happen when my parents get home and see this. Suddenly, you are posed with the options of 1)Do I hide it and hope they don’t miss it? 2) Own up to my actions and take responsibility and receive the punishment for disobeying them? Or 3) Look for some glue or super glue in an attempt to put it back together and look like nothing had ever happened to it?

You and I know that more than like we chose #3. You have even seen it in tv shows or movies where the kid breaks his parents favorite ornament, figurine, or sculpture and then tries to fix it with glue.

When you were finished, you looked it over to make sure it wasn’t obvious from a distance that it was broken or noticeable cracks.

In episode 54, I am going to share about a time that I saw an art design in a church and how it related to what God says about broken vessels and how even in our brokenness, He can still use the broken pieces to make a masterpiece. 

Hello and thank you for joining me on this episode of the 318 Project.

So did that intro bring back a flashback from your childhood. I know it did for me while I was preparing for this episode and remembered the time that I broke something of my mom’s and then tried to glue it back together without her finding out. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out good for the figurine or for me and my butt.

While you were trying to piece it back together with the glue, did it seem like there were some small little shards missing that left a gap or caused the pieces to not line up together. No matter how hard you tried it was never going to look right. 

The same thing goes with our lives. Growing up your parents, family members, friends or someone that cared about you told you not to do something in an attempt to protect you. But as a young person you felt that they don’t know what they are talking about or nothing is going to happen to me. Unfortunately you ended up trying the drugs or alcohol and took you down a path of addiction. Maybe it was the infidelity later on that destroyed your marriage and family; or even feeling that you weren’t loved and decided to join a gang or do activities that weren’t lawful and you ended up in jail.

Later on in life something happened and you gave you life to Christ and asked for forgiveness. Your life was changed, but you still felt or even looked broken from the years of abuse, addiction and cares of life that had worn you down. 

At this time you have thought or even said “How can God use a broken person like me?”

If you have been in church for any amount of time, you have probably heard the phrase from scripture in Isaiah 64:8 “ But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.”

You may have even heard a message from Jeremiah 18:4 that tells about “the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”

You and I have heard it said that God can take our broken selves and restore them like the clay in the potter’s hand. But what happens once the clay has been hardened and can’t be reshaped?

Is that how you feel at times, like your life has been hardened from the things of your past?

But what if God can use those broken pieces to still make a masterpiece?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

You are probably thinking then why would God allow me to go through those things? Was that His plan all along for me to go through the addictions, abuse, troubles?

These are some tough questions and God never wants us to walk away from His will, but He allows us to have free will to make choices even if He knows the path it will take you and I down.

So, what then can God do with these broken pieces of yours, mine and other lives?

Several years ago, me, my dad and a friend went with our friend Jack King for a men’s ministry trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. One day during the morning we had some free time and our friend John said that he had heard of this place called” Church of the Resurrection” or “Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood” and had always wanted to go see it. As we walked up to this cathedral, the exterior of it was just breathtaking. To see the teardrop dome spirals and design was amazing as it resembles  much of medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. I highly recommend you look it up to see it. But the true beauty was when we walked in. Now this had previously been a  Russian orthodox church and the reason for this was that it was built in 1883 by Alexander the 3rd as a memorial for his father, Alexander the 2nd, who was assassinated in that very spot.

What stood out the most to me was that the entire interior of the church walls, floors and ceiling was covered in mosaics of bibles scenes of Jesus and the disciples. To see all the different fragments or colored tiles placed to form the detailed images and scene was amazing. Even later on during the wars and other events that caused damage, they would work to restore the damage and find the right piece of broken tiles to fix the mosaics.

And that is what God wants to do with our lives. Yes, they may have hardened from the years of not walking with Him, but He can still use those broken pieces to make a masterpiece just like those mosaic images in that church. At first when you look at yourself as that individual piece, it doesn’t look like anything, but when you bring together individual broken pieces you can start to form a picture or piece of art like those mosaic images. That is how the church is. Many broken individuals, but when we come together to worship and praise God as a family then we become that Mosaic masterpiece in God’s eyes. You and I may have a special talent, skill or calling that God has for each of us, and God wants to use each of us for a purpose, but then when we come together to form the body of Christ in whole as the church and as the Bride of Christ.  When you look at that one piece it may be white and oddly shaped, but for that mosaic image it may have gone in the spot they needed for the eye of Jesus in the scene of Him on the cross.

There is an ancient Japanese art form called Kintsugi that I had heard about a few years ago. Now this art is unique in that the artist will take the broken pieces of a bowl, plate or cup and piece it back together. Instead of using a glue or an adhesive this technique requires a special tree sap lacquer that is coated with powdered gold. Once completed the ceramic ware shows off the cracks with its beautiful seams of gold. This method actually embraces the brokenness and flaws instead of trying to hide them. Now the ceramic ware is considered more valuable than it originally was before it was broken.

That is just what God wants to do with us. With our brokenness, flaws, scars, hurts and shame; when we gave our lives to Christ, He took those broken pieces and brought them back together with His blood that He shed on Calvary. You may feel like junk or worthless, but God filled you with the Holy Spirit and now you and I are more valuable to Him than ever before. He wants to show the broken pieces, flaws and scars to remind us and others that God can redeem and use anyone no matter what they have gone through.

God takes those imperfections and creates something stronger in you than before. This allows you to receive the healing of those past hurts and shame even when you see those scars that remind you of your past.

So don’t think that all your past failures and problems will keep God from using you for His purpose and plan. God formed each of us for a purpose to fulfill His plan as the church to reach and lead others to Him. So while you may think you see junk or a broken vessel, God sees a masterpiece in each of us.

I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. I want to challenge you to take the time to pray and allow God to speak to your heart and show you that you aren’t junk or worthless. You may be broken or have some chips, scars, or imperfections but God can still use Broken Vessels. 

And if you can take a minute or two to leave a rating and review about this episode and podcast. Also be sure to share it with others that may be struggling and that they can be blessed and encouraged. And as always I want you to have a blessed and wonderful day.