“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’
He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it’
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
Today is our anniversary, my husband and I were married 14 years ago today. Our journey since that day has not been a normal one – we met and married later in life and for both of us our lives did not ever follow what would be anything close to normal. By the grace of God, we met and married. And it was by God’s grace entirely, an answer to earnest prayers. It is also the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis one year ago. The journey over the past year has been difficult. It still seems like a nightmare that I will awake from, saying “I just had the most horrible dream…”. There are so many ironies and so much growth and new opportunities that have come from and through the past year, it seems unbelievable. I have learned to trust, both God and the people He has surrounded me with, and lean into Him sometimes to a depth I never knew was possible before. He has shown His love for me so clearly I can feel it, I can feel His arms around me as He is saying “I am here, I have got you, I won’t let go, don’t be afraid.”, at times when it seemed the world around me would never be the same. And the world never will be the same, it never is the same. It constantly changes, and will all fall away. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8 Only God remains unchanging. He is the rock I stand upon.
This is not what I had planned to write today…but here it is. Stay tuned, and save your fork – the best is yet to come!
My husband and I were involved in a lively discussion this morning, as we often do! No, not what you are probably thinking, we were not arguing, we were just fired up about The Word! We began talking about an article he shared on facebook about freedom of speech, and it went from there. I have been getting very passionate lately about religious persecution (again, probably not what you are thinking!). It seems that a bunch of ‘us’ Christians think that we are unable to talk about Jesus anymore. That we will be scorned, bullied, persecuted. Jesus already told us this is truth.
John 15:18-25 New International Version (NIV)
The World Hates the Disciples 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]
This should not stop us from sharing the Gospel! This should not stop us from opening our mouths and sharing the TRUTH. We must not. We should not be afraid. How many times does God tell us in His Word to not fear? Some people say 365, although I cannot substantiate that – but it is a whole lot of times!!! We must stand on the Rock, and not be moved.
I also hear a lot these days about how the LGBT “agenda” is being “forced down our throats” and how sexual sin is so prevalent these days. Yes, we see it more because of all the media and yes, people are more open about it, but more prevalent? Not in my world. My world has been steeped in sexual immorality ever since I can remember. I have seen it, been exposed to it, and yeah, done it. I had friends when I was a teenager who were homosexual. Sexual promiscuity was rampant back then, with us kids. It is not new. Read the Bible, I think it deals with it quite a bit. Here is the truth about this: it is spiritual warfare. It is not of God. Satan has his grip and that is the biggest crack, he opens it up wide. It is his most fun, most alluring playground.
Having said that, here is the other truth of the matter: We are all sinners. One sin is not worse than the others. Two Bible passages in particular DO point to what sinful behavior will lead us to hell – Revelation 21:18 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
We must look at ourselves. Not “those” people. The people who are lost are the ones we need to be Jesus to, not to be afraid of. God is with us. He will protect us, until the end of the age. He will not leave us. That is what the Bible says. The one who created it all died for us, so that we will live, free of the condemnation of sin. That is what we need to know, way in the depths of our soul – to KNOW. And that is what we need to share. We need to share that repentance means not losing, but gaining so much. Repentance is turning away from satan and turning towards God. Turning away from fear, and evil, and sadness, and doubt and turning toward love and hope and forgiveness and joy and FREEDOM.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
We may be the only Jesus some people see, and don’t you want people to see Jesus??? Stop being afraid, look to Jesus, keep focused on the truth!
Do you believe what God has told us? If you do, STAND ON IT!
They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
I never celebrated my mother’s birthday. Not that I can remember.
My aunt told me she would have been 81 this year. It was a strange thing to me.
My mom died in 1975, it was so long ago. I was just a little girl, and she a young woman. It was strange to me, first, that I never thought of her in those terms. Hiding away all those thoughts and imaginings, it has always been seemingly too hard, too painful to think of her as anything but that young woman who loved me so much. I never thought of her in context of her, I always have thought of her in context to what she was to me. It was a strange thing to suddenly have an awareness of her life as something other than just the pain of losing her. It was in a moment a huge chunk of healing, over forty years needed.
Even as other women have come in and out of my life who have been “mother-figures” and I have said yes, she is old enough to be my mother, never once have I ever wondered what my own mother may have been like had she lived a longer life. I guess I was afraid it would open a floodgate of missed days, missed birthdays, holidays, events, that we were not allowed to share together. Perhaps, it would reopen wounds that I have prayed and asked God to heal over the years, wounds that disrupted my relationship with Him so deeply. But, there was none of that. It was like a healing balm. It was acceptance and separation and thanks. It wasn’t a sorrowful thing at all, it was peace. It was strange.
The other strange things was that I realized that I had never marked her birthday with any type of remembrance, or the day of her death, as some people do. A rather scary thing to admit is that I still carry a card from her funeral in my wallet. It is as if God wanted me to keep it there, knowing some day I would be ready to remember the days and her life and celebrate it. She helped to instill in me a strong faith and in the few years she had with me she poured into me a love for so many things – flowers, family, baking and cooking, music and singing, hard work and responsibility, but mostly faith that a loving a merciful God holds us in His hands.
So, this year, we celebrated my mom’s birthday! I pulled from my recipe files her favorite buttercream frosting recipe, written by her on a card – which actually turned out for me – and baked a cake. It was good. It was satisfying. And it was not strange at all.
Thank you, Lord for this day and for the loving mother you gave to me, even if she was only here with me for a short time. I know her faith was strong, and she has been rejoicing with you all this time, and someday I will see her again! In your Son’s name I pray, Amen
It is with a bit of fear that I actually hit post on this…growth sometimes takes a little vulnerability?
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10