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I was "rough housing" in the living room with my brother when I knocked over one of my mother's ornamental coal-oil lamps off of the mantle. I tried to catch it, but couldn't, and it shattered into a zillion pieces.

I cleaned up the mess, but knew I could never replace the broken lamp. I can still see the look of disappointment in my mother's eyes when she discovered my mischief.

A broken lamp is useless, but some things need to be broken before they are useful.

A farmer doesn't plant his crop in cement, rather, he chooses good soil, breaks it up, and then sows the seed. Unbroken soil does not produce abundant crops, but cultivated soil incubates life. A butterfly could never flutter in the spring air without breaking its cocoon, neither could an eaglet emerge without breaking its shell.

Jesus could not feed the five thousand, until he broke the bread (Mark 8:1-8). The sinful woman could not pour the costly perfume over Jesus until she broke the alabaster box (Luke 7:37). God could not reconcile Himself to sinful man until he broke down the wall that separated us and Him (Ephesians 2:14). We can never know salvation without Jesus' broken body (1 Corinthians 11:24).

We are not useful until we are broken. David wrote: "The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:17 NLT).

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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