“And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.” (Acts 27:44)
The Lord our God takes pleasure in using “broken pieces.” In fact, it might be right to say, with regard to the people the Lord uses as instruments of good to his elect, he only uses “broken pieces.”
A broken heart, a contrite spirit and a subdued will are rare things in our day. This is the day of human rights, human dignity and human sovereignty. Self-esteem, self-worth and self-promotion is the cry of the day. All men are demanding what they call “their rights.” Every man does that which is right in his own eyes. All men by nature are exceedingly proud, selfish people. Preachers today, knowing man’s natural pride, have capitalized upon it. They have developed a flesh pleasing theology of pride. Our forefathers exalted the dignity, the majesty, and the supremacy of the eternal God. But the smooth-tongued prophets of deceit in our day have set themselves to exalt the dignity, majesty, and supremacy of man. It seems that religion today is dedicated, not to the honor of God, but to the honor of man. Its purpose is to make man feel good about himself. Therefore we hear little about brokenness of heart, contrition of the soul and the subduing of man’s will.
Yet, of this one thing you may be sure: — “The sacrifices of God are (still) a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17). The Lord God declares, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Word” (Isaiah 66:2). God will have broken material with which to build his kingdom. Sooner or later, the Lord God will bring us to nothingness before his presence, or we will never experience his salvation. God’s people, all of God’s people, are a broken people.
No man has ever experienced the grace of God in salvation, until his heart is thoroughly broken before the holy Lord God, revealed in the crucified Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever a man finds out — Who he is — Who God is — Who the Lord Jesus Christ is and — What he has done for sinners, — if a man ever really learns these things, he will be a broken man.
When Job saw himself in the presence of his three miserable friends, he vindicated himself, and even cursed his day. He said, “Why did I not perish from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?” But when he stood in the presence of God, he was a broken man; and he spoke as a broken man. He saw himself in all the hideousness of his sin; and he saw God, in all the holiness of his majesty. Then he said, “Behold I am vile! I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 40:4; 42:5-6). There is no pride and egotism here, no haughtiness, no self-vindication. Once Job had seen the Lord, he was broken. He loathed himself and blamed himself. Once Job saw the Lord, he honored God and vindicated him. The truly broken heart will always vindicate God, no matter the cost.
Found at the Cross
This brokenness can be produced in proud, stubborn, sinful men and women by the saving revelation of Christ in our hearts. Brokenness is found at the cross, only at the cross. The Lord God declares that when he pours upon the hearts of his elect the Spirit of grace, then “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). Have you been to the cross? Have you had the crucified Christ revealed in your heart? Has your heart been broken by the knowledge of the Lord? O Lord, evermore break our hearts before Thee.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com