AS WE GO THROUGH THE day-to-day activities of our lives, God will often use them to teach us about Himself and how active He is in our lives. I have read many times in the Bible how God is like a refiner's fire, but the impact of this scripture never really became clear until I stood over the melting pot.
It was midsummer and my husband was doing some cleaning up in his shop. I had other things I wanted to do so I ask him if there was anything I could to help in hopes of hurting this project along. He asked me to meltdown some scrap lead and mold it into bars. I thought that would be easy enough, so I settled down to the task at hand. It was hot, dirty and I had to wear these long heavy gloves, not to mention the smell, and after a short amount of time, I was sorry I had asked him. Becoming bored with the job he had given me to do, I began to grumble under my breath and asked the Lord to get me out of this mess! as I stood there staring down into the melting pot of hot liquid, I felt as if the Lord was standing beside me, speaking "In a great house there are vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of clay, some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleans himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21, NKJV).
As I continued to stir the hot liquid, the impurities rose to the surface to be skimmed off and discarded. This process was repeated several times until all the impurities were gone. When the liquid was a silver color the led was then poured into the mold in the shape of a bar and left to cool. While I was working I never lost sight of the scripture the Lord had given me, and before I realized it the bucket of scrap led was empty. As I began cleaning up I thought of Malachi 2:2-3, it tell us how God will sit as a refiner and a purifier that we may offer to Him an offering in righteousness. God knows the intent of our hearts and even our thoughts before we utter the words. When this takes place within us we can worship Him with a pure heart and serve Him with clean motives. That day ,as I was skimming the impurities from the lead, I knew God was about give me a reminder of the work of a refiner.
As the days went on, I found myself being checked on the words I spoke to others, not only from an inner conviction, but from my family members as well. So many things were going through my mind that I didn’t realize the bucket of scrap lead was almost empty, with the last of the refined lead was poured into the mold, I began the clean up.
Now that my job was finished I headed for the house to seek some answers. Bible in hand I turned to 2 Timothy chapter two and began to read, there in verses 16 & 17 was my answer, “Shun profane and idle babbling, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.” In my quest for a better understanding, I began to search the scripture, “profane and idle babbling “ was translated as “empty, vain, or useless talk, godless or worldly chatter.” I had never really thought about how my words reflected my Christian walk or how others perceived them. Jesus said, “. . . I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned “ (Matthew 12:36-37, NKJV). God not only notices every word we say, but He knows the heart attitude behind them, it is from that attitude we will be judged. I try harder to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit now, to think before I speak, to choose carefully the words I say to others, and to remain silent when unsure. Do I always succeed, no. There is scripture I like to use as a prayer, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NKJV).
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