Grapes Without Wrath

The September 30th devotional in My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, talks about individuals in the body of Christ becoming broken bread and sacramental wine in kingdom service. It’s a comforting concept until you take a moment to think about what it means to be broken bread and crushed grapes.

In order to make wine, succulent fruits at the peak of flavor have to be crushed. The process that brings the wine forth is severe. All the juice has to be forced from the skin so that not one drop is wasted. Jesus went through a similar crushing when he hung on the cross, allowing all his goodness to transform all of the world’s sin, so that all God’s children could experience all of His grace.

Ponder the fullness of that concept.  Killing the natural man in favor of spiritual maturity is a painful process, but worth the effort.

Oswald Chambers goes on to say in his devotional, “God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured out wine in a special way [we think]. But when He uses someone who we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom.”

Chambers continues, “If ever we are 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.”

I won’t suggest to you how you ought to process this information, today. I will, however, ask you to pray for all those who are going through the crushing process at this time.

Pray for them to willingly be crushed.

Pray for them to understand that this is what is needed for them to mature in the faith.

Pray that they would see this crushing as a means of making them useful to the body, other believers.

Pray that they would be able to praise God in the process, for this we are commanded to do always.

Pray that they might understand how crushing is God’s way, as evidenced by His Son’s own crushing on the cross of Calvary.

Finally, pray that they might find the strength to stand up under the crushing, and give glory to God through the experience, and also that they might find many willing to stand by them as they are crushed into holy service.

The Christian life is not an easy one, but it is the right one, and the only one that keeps one safe after the experiences of this world.

Today, let’s trust God to transform us His way and by His means.  No matter what, you have his promise that He will not crush you beyond what you are able to bear.

Even in the difficult times, Our God is good, so good!

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