Devotions By Jan

Fire!

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Scripture for Today:  Malachi 3:2b-3  “For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.  He will sit as a smelter and purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”

The recent fires in California have been devastating!  When hearing the survivors’ testimony one often hears tearful gratitude for their safety.  Things can be replaced, after all.  Human lives are so much more valuable.

Going through a fire will often change one’s priorities.  It could even change one’s direction in life.  For many, the experience causes one to re-evaluate what is really important in life.  Distractions are removed and new goals are put in place.

Our verse for today pictures God as a refiner working with gold and silver.  This process uses the intense heat of the furnace fire to subtract all the imperfections and impurities.  The metals must return to liquid form for this to happen.  All the dross is then separated out and discarded for the metal to become pure.

God did this for the priestly tribe of Levi in Israel.  They were presenting offerings to the Lord but not in righteousness.  Perhaps they were following all the rules, but their hearts were not right.  There is something that God desires more than sacrifice; to do righteousness and justice (Prov.21:3).  David tells us in Psalm 51:17 that the sacrifice God is interested in is a broken and contrite heart.

I am no different than those Levis.  I have been a believer a long time and can go through the motions of worship without my heart being involved or while harboring all kinds of secret sin.  No one wants to go through fiery trials.  Lord, keep me from needing the discipline of Your refining fire!

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