Wounded: Handle With Care

Wounded: Handle With Care

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Matthew 12:20

Richard L. Dunagin of Denton, Texas, writing in Leadership Journal, said that his children won four free goldfish at the school carnival, necessitating a Saturday morning family outing to find an aquarium. The first several they found were too expensive, but then he spotted a used one right in the middle of the aisle: A discarded ten-gallon tank complete with gravel and filter. It was five dollars.

“Of course, it was nasty dirty, but the savings made the two hours of cleanup a breeze. Those four new fish looked great in their new home, at least for the first day. But by Sunday one had died. Too bad, but three remained. Monday morning revealed a second casualty, and by Monday night a third goldfish had gone belly up.

“We called in an expert, a member of our church who had a 30-gallon tank. It didn’t take him long to discover the problem: I had washed the tank with soap, an absolute no-no. My uninformed efforts had destroyed the very lives I was trying to protect.

“Sometimes in our zeal to clean up our own lives or the lives of others, we unfortunately use “killer soaps”—condemnation, criticism, nagging, fits of temper. We think we’re doing right, but our harsh, self-righteous treatment is more than they can bear.”

It is a wonderful thing to be a blood-bought, born again Christian. There is nothing that the devil can do that will erase salvation! But… there are many Christians who feel that they are no longer useful to our Savior. We have been led to believe that God has sees our failure and has put us on the shelf, never to be used for his glory. It is a horrible feeling to believe that God has discarded you!

Our passage this evening is a quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4. The prophet is explaining how the messiah will be recognized. One distinct characteristic is that he will not get rid of the weak and broken. This morning let us meditate on this truth: Where there is life, there is hope… and we are not dead yet!

The Great Physician Will Not Break the Bruised 

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. Small stick with a crack or weak spot- not a mighty oak tree.

 1. Not much good for building

 2. Still had life in it

B. Bruised= an outward sigh of an inward hurt

 1. Personal failure

 2. The failure and hurt of others toward you

C. This bruise captivates the soul- Jesus sets you free!

Luke 4:18 KJV

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

D. David’s soul was bruised after his sin

 1. Guilt

Psalm 51:5 KJV

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:7 KJV

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

2. Lost joy

Psalm 51:12 KJV

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.

3. Broken heart

Psalm 51:17 KJV

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

E. God heals the bruised heart

 1. God is greater than your heart

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

2. God heals the broken heart

Psalm 147:3 KJV

He healeth the broken in heart, And bindeth up their wounds.

    Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly falling dew, but shut up in the violent downpour of rain.—Jean Paul Richter

The Great Physician Will Fan The Flicker of Life

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. The picture

 1. A little light

 2. A little heat

 3. A lot of irritating smoke.

B. Peter 

 1. Proclaimed his loyalty to Christ 

 Matthew 26:33–35 KJV

 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 

Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

 2. Peter denied Christ and wept bitterly

Matthew 26:73–75 KJV

And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

 3. Peter was greatly used after he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

 Acts 2:41 KJV

 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Jesus will bring judgment to victory

Matthew 12:20 KJV

A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

 A. Victory over emotions

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 KJV

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 B. Victory over the flesh

Romans 6:6–11 KJV

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Victory over guilt

Romans 8:1 KJV

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:31 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:33 KJV

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

D. Victory over death

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jerry Bridges suggests these five strategies for obeying the biblical injunctions about gentleness:

  •   Actively seek to make others feel at ease. Be sensitive to other’s opinions and ideas, welcoming opinion.

  •   Show respect for the personal dignity of the other person. When you need to change a wrong opinion, do so with persuasion and kindness rather than domination or intimidation.

  •   Avoid blunt speech and abrupt manner. Be sensitive to how others react to your words, considering how they may feel. When it is necessary to wound, also include encouragement.

  •   Don’t be threatened by opposition; gently instruct, asking God to dissolve the opposition.

  •   Do not belittle or degrade or gossip about a brother who has fallen—instead grieve and pray for his repentance.

Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 339.

What was cast away because of external circumstances had great value inside. Jesus not only sees our warn exterior, but also sees who we are and who we can become in Him. There is still life, there is still hope. Let us learn from our Great Physician. When we come upon the wounded, handle with care.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:01 PM October 12, 2021.

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