Friday, June 22, 2007

Testing the Metal of my heart

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.


rgeorge said...

John 15 speaks of God as a gardener watching and pruning or cleaning off the junk that stunts growth to the branches. We are the branches that get our sustinance from Jesus and take on his character. When we start to take on the character of Jesus there will constant pruning or cleaning because its necessary. When I lived in Nashville my wife and I had a huge garden in different areas. If I did not weed my vegetable garden for more than 2-3 days it would be over. Once the weeds grab hold you can't do anything because the roots will finally grab the roots of the good plants and if you pull up the weeds you will kill the good plants. And thats why God as our gardener prunes or cleans us daily so we can be better people. Not better masters but better servants who do the task at hand and keep their hands to the plow and don't look back. My boss told me Friday at a meeting what he expects from us for the next month as we will be seeling 5 different campaigns at once. He also said he will be watching to see who hears and obeys for future reference. If man watches us to see what we do what will God do? God is not bad but he is just and he is watching to see what we do for future reference. I need refinement because I know where I would be if I did what I wanted. We study and pray to grow so we can teach others to be strong men and women of God and not weak people who flinch at every obstacle that obstructs our path. As the branches we gain strength when we obey and we are refined as the gardener twaeks us so we grow correctly.

Tina said...

In the front of my house by my stairs, I have 4 rose bushes and about 12 bunches of small plants around them. Everyday I pass them by ignoring their need to be watered and pruned. I don't have time. I'll get to it later, I always say. The neighbor, when he or his wife is out watering their plants, caringly and feeling sorry for my flower garden, give my plants a drink. Friday I was sitting on my steps looking down at the plants. They were in desperate need of pruning. All the flower buds were brown and dead. So I sat on the ground and starting pruning. Each branch in the bunch had to be picked. It took a long time to get to the last bunch. It started to rain and I had to get the baby in, so I stopped leaving 1 half done. How much easier would it have been to just prune away the dead buds day by day? How much more welcoming
would it have looked for all to see as they passed by my house? And if I didn't prune my garden, how much longer would it have been until they just died blooming no more? Oh God, Help me to not ignore the things in my life that need pruning. Help me to recognize the bad that is in me and make it right in your eyes without delay. Help me to be a welcoming vessel for you. Thank you Father for not ignoring me when I'm in need of water. Thank you for allowing me to enter into your Beautiful, Gracious, Magnificent, and Welcoming Precense daily. In your Son's Precious Name Jesus I Pray. Amen.