Thursday, December 6, 2018

Zechariah 13:1, 9 (ESV)
[1] “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

[9] And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

We celebrate verse 1 as it promises cleansing from sin and uncleanness. It is verse 9 we struggle with. Yes, we are washed clean by the blood of Christ and made perfectly acceptable. Still, it takes testing for that holiness to work its way out in practical ways in our lives. Nobody likes going through the fire. Nobody likes being refined. That process is sometimes painful, perhaps even occasionally disillusioning (think of Job). But, it is the process we need.

It is in the refiner’s fire that the internal work of God becomes evident to those around us. It is in the refiner’s fire that the Christ becomes visible through us. It is in the refiner’s fire that we begin to learn by experience that this world is not our home. It is in the refiner’s fire that eternal perspectives and priorities grow. The blood of Christ washes us clean. His refiner’s fire burns away the dross of our old life, allowing the indwelling Spirit to renew our minds by his Word, and transform our lives by his power.

 God loves us too much to leave us in the muck and mire of the world once he has given us new life. The process of refining is not a comfortable process, but it is his process. It is the answer to our prayer, “Lord, make me more like you.” Today, can we give thanks for the way in which he has used, and is using his refiner’s fire to let the world see Jesus in us?

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