February 03, 2016

GOD, LIKE A SILVER SMITH, PURIFIES HIS CHILDREN...



Have you ever heard a Christian admit his affliction is from His loving heavenly Father? Usually we blame circumstances, others, or whatever, and will even shake our fist in God's face if deeply disturbed. We know the familiar line: If God would do this to me, He isn't a God of love. Rare is the child of God who admits he needed it! But, the fact is, we do and ought to admit God doesn't begin to give us our just deserts. We need in this fun loving age to remember GOD IS MORE INTERESTED IN OUR HOLINESS THAN OUR HAPPINESS! (cf Hebrews 12:4-11).

"My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." Prov. 3:11,12

I once read this insightful story: There was a group of women in a Bible study on the Book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, the came across verse three, which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Puzzled, the women wondered what this statement meant and what it said about the character of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week she called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silver smith, 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 He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. 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. It the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed." The woman was silent for a moment. Then, she asked the silver smith, “How to you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s when I see my image in it.” If I’m presently feeling the heat of the fire, I know that God has His eye on me and really does love me.

READ AND PONDER GOD'S WORD: 

A Father’s Discipline (Hebrews 12: 4-13)

"You have not yet resisted  to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6  For those whom the Lord loves HE disciplines,
And HE scourges every son whom HE receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12 Therefore,  strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed."