Jeremiah 6.27-30 I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways. They are all hardened rebels, going about to slander. They are bronze and iron; they all act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in fain; the wicked are not purged out. They are called rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them."
Jn 15.1 " He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit..."
It is interesting to read what people think the church should be. A "Community of love" or an "unconditional fellowship". Those are warm and pleasant sounding phrases but the scripture is clear from both testaments that the fellowship is not so warm and cozy. It is a furnace of the Word. As that Eternal Word is delivered and hosted in the body of Christ it heats up the caldron and begins to bring our character and heart to a boil. What impurity is being brought forth from your heart these days? NONE, you say?, well friend then you haven't been in the furnace of the Word! Certainly there is plenty of impurity left in your heart to be refined, purified, and cleansed!
I have shadowy places in my soul that limit my usefulness for God. I have sinned with the use of my time, in my thoughts and the intents of my heart, in my judgments and my words. God let the fire of your Word purify me! I know that we need the bellows to blow on our hearts. Is it still possible that the purging can be in vain? Is there hope in the refining process of our lives?
To hear the Word with no intention of change, growth or process is to condemn ourselves. Though we may look shiny on the outside the LORD is aware of the purity of our heart. If we are not sterling in our character- if we are not being purified in the process- then we are "rejected silver". Pretty, but useless for a holy task.
And any task for him is holy.