Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 … Purity From Pain

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 328

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in the lyrics with the group, Hillsong, singingRefiner’s Fire. … reminding Christians we are often put through the fires of life as God’s method of purify our souls when we choose to live lives of Christlike holiness.

Highlight Passage - NKJV 1st Peter 1: 6-7 … The only way to purify gold is to put it to the fire …
  6 … In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, … 
Highlight Context #1 - 1st Peter 1: 3-9 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  Suffering and pain purify the soul

Reference Passage #1 - Ezekiel 22: 17-22 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …   God will do His work to purify us into the image of Christ just as He did with ancient Israel

Reference Passage #2 … Philippians 1: 6 [NKJV] … God is going to do what it takes to purify all Christians into Christ’s image …
  6 … being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; … 

Reference Passage #3 … James 1: 2-4 [NKJV] … Recognize, with joy, that it is the pain of the fires of life which produce the purity God desires from us …
  2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 

Reference Passage #4 … Revelation 19: 7-8 [NKJV] … As Christ’s bride, we are in a place to ready ourselves with purity for our Bridegoom’s return …
  7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Julie Ackerman Link, reminded me of a rather scary - but very true - word picture. And the picture is of the reality that it often takes the fires of life, with all its fury and pain, to bring us to a purified state of holiness - i.e., the state of Christlikeness.

 I hope all Christians realize in reading here that God is in the business of doing whatever it takes to rebrand us into the image of our Savior; and quite often that involves doing what the Prophet Ezekiel wrote about with regard to God’s Old Covenant with His people in Israel. And the word picture used in Ezekiel 22: 17-22 is much the same as one the Apostle Peter used in his letter to a much persecuted group of churches in Asia Minor in his day (see the link to 1st Peter 1: 3-9 above). And the picture is much as depicted in the attached photo, … that of God putting us through the fires of life to purify our souls.

 When we Christians choose to live holy and pure lives (i.e., living as Christ lived), it may take putting us through the fires of life to burn off the dross [disobedience and sin] from our souls, purifying us into Christlikeness. God was doing that with his people in the OT Covenant. He continued the strategy through Christ in His NT Covenant; and He continues to do it in the lives of His Bride, the Church, today.

 But when we’re obedient, as His Bride, and we choose to humble ourselves to prepare for our Bridegroom’s coming again (see Revelation 19: 7-8 above] by living purified lives, He will honor God with our humility and it will keep us from the Refiner’s fire. Wouldn’t we rather choose to live in humility and holiness rather than having God put us through the purifying fires of pain to have us be prepared for His return?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, … I prepare my linens for Your return. Come soon, Lord Jesus! Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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