It is by grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2: 8)

Faith, love and peace! These are the qualities the Apostle Paul holds are to be pursued by us to be worthy, useful (2 Timothy 2: 14-26). O, to be useful! Useful, like pots or vases, jars … utensils of value for someone, having purpose and meaning. We should be useful, Paul says, like useful utensils. But what use can a broken or cracked pot like me have, many ask? And then we might lose hope!

Take heart! We have been mended – and we have purpose and meaning in this life! Do not forever relive the moment of your slipping over the edge! All too often, we find ourselves overwhelmed by guilt, finding signs of our brokenness further and further back in history. Yes, we are broken! It is in our worldly nature! Have we not again been self-serving this past week, this past day? Truth is, we sin when we are selfish and when we are selfish, we break. We were not created to be this way! But the great Potter has come to mend us! Even as we fall, He lifts us back onto the table of grace, even as He was lifted on to a Cross! Even as you may for the moment hang in suspense, waiting for the crash, even as right now you may feel as if you are falling towards inevitable destruction … the pieces of our shattered lives are gathered and kept safe until all who wait on the Lord will be put together again! And when we know ourselves mended, we are useful, even now!

When Paul suggests our lives should be distinguished by faith, love and peace, it turns out he is a most practical man: true peace, you see, comes from remembering that Jesus poured Himself out as a selfless offering for all those who will put their trust in Him. Our selfish brokenness has been repaired in Him; He did so as an act of purest love; and in Him alone, He who alone is supremely selfless in love, in Him we are mended in a most beautiful way; and so we look up to the Cross, and we remember, and as we remember, we may believe, and as we believe, we may love – and this leads to hope! To know this truth is to be a beautifully mended, once broken jar! “Dear Lord, mend me, make me whole again … Amen! –CN