Puzzled, Purged, and Purified

Written by Greg Benner 04-26-1999 

Recently, I was out for my early morning walk.  Making my way along the sidewalks of my sleepy little town nestled in the foothills of snow-capped peaks, strangely familiar shapes strewn along the pathway caught my eye.  Upon closer investigation, I found these shapes to be the discarded pieces of what appeared to be an unwanted puzzle cast carelessly aside.  Yet, was my assumption true?  Had their owner really thrown them away?  Or, did it merely seem so in light of their honorless resting place?  As questions like these raced down my mental corridors of thought, I found myself launched on a quest to discover the deeper message buried beneath these few misplaced, weathered, and trod upon pieces of an unknown life.  Who dropped them?  Where do they live?  Did they drop these probable perplexors by accident or discard them for good?  Suddenly, my heart's eye saw how we fit in life's puzzle being snatched from sin's grip as God leads us into the abundance of life.  Now, stirred by gratitude...it seems obvious that we must search to find meaning, we must change to impact others, and we must obey Jesus in order to lay hold of our purpose in God's plan

Turning Over The Box

Dumping our pieces out on life's table...we must mill through the pile in our search to find meaning in Christ.  Like most projects, parts must be completely disassembled, carefully sorted, and skillfully placed in where they belong.  Our lives are no different.  First, we must risk letting Jesus take us completely apart to discover our condition within.  Next, we must risk letting Him carefully sort our life's pieces into piles labeled good, damaged, or shot.  And finally, we must risk letting Him rebuild our lives using pieces of dangerous wonder, total abandon, fiery passion, and child-like faith.  If we will plunge in head first...Jesus will jump start our run down witnesses transforming them into joy-packed whirlwinds for Him!  Remember, God loves a good puzzle!  With patience, He'll put our mixed up pieces together in a way that will make our lives into a masterpiece for others to see Him through. 

Digging For More

Still pawing for pieces to give shape to our task...we must allow Jesus to change us if we're to impact others for Him.  It is tough to make the picture match the box when puzzle pieces don't fit.  This is especially true of second-hand puzzles.  Sometimes, pieces have to be re-shaped, some re-colored, and others replaced to restore the mysterious mess.  Likewise, God works in our lives in much the same way.  Finding ourselves stumped in confusion and mastered by pride, we can only find hope by letting Jesus re-shape our minds, re-color our hearts, and recreate our sinfulness into newness of life.  Victory will be won or lost based upon our hunger for, obedience to, and investment in God's plan.  Whether we fit easily toGod's puzzle or struggle in man's...will determine our impact for Christ in the lives of others. 

Puzzle Strategy

Connecting life's borders and clumped pieces brings God's puzzle together as we obey and realize our purpose in Christ.  Puzzle success is won or lost based on whether we put the right piece in the right or wrong place.  Edges get broken, colors don't match, and the picture simply doesn't make sense when we miss the mark!  Consequently, we must fix our eyes on our goal, put things where they fit, and refer to the instructions to avoid an ordeal.  God will not use us to reach others unless we keep our eyes on Jesus, serve where we fit, and obey His instructions.  God will not use a mob of puzzle poachers determined to re-shape, re-color, and replace His redemptive love with their hellish plans.  God will not be mocked!  Yet, we who choose to fit God's design can find hope in His love, freedom in His forgiveness, and joy in His service as we keep our hearts fixed on Him. 

Sidewalks Of Life

We must choose to see people as Jesus sees them if love's picture is to come into view.  Sadly, history records how renegades crush God's people to dust, scrap His treasures as junk, and twist His mercy into control over helpless and imprisoned lives.  Yet, Psalms 42:7 tells us our purpose in Christ is "to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness."   Praise God, He loves us in spite of all those things we've done!  Furthermore, II Corinthians 5:19-20 tells us, "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And, he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us."   The only way to become one of Christ's ambassadors is to live a lifestyle of repentance, blamelessness, and love in Jesus Christ.  So, the next time you run across a few misplaced, weathered, or trod upon people along the sidewalks of life; will you cast them carelessly aside or love them in Jesus name?   What did Jesus do for you?


Copyright / BattleCry Ministries - Greg Benner 1999 / All rights reserved worldwide.  These materials shall not be used or distributed without written permission.

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