Today's devotional comes from Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest. It asks if we are truly ripe and ready for use in the eyes of God. The passage of scripture comes from Colossians 1:24 and reads: I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church . . .
Focusing on becoming like broken bread and poured out wine, the observation is how we respond to and endure the sufferings that we face in our own lives:
This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, “If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!” But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.
The process of transformation from our old ways, behaviors, thoughts, and human experiences in the past ought to move us through the process of becoming a new being through the grace of God. While we are saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ, we begin the process of changing our life through surrendering, and new experiences that help shape us into vessels that God is able to use. We all are called to serve and bring forth the message of the Gospel to others and it is through our own experiences and transformation that this can happen.
We must ask ourselves to what extent have I become like broken bread and poured out wine? Are we able to honestly answer this question? Chambers provides this reflection:
I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.
Where are you at in the process of transforming your life before God?