Tag Archives: purity

There Is More to Worship

There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.

We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.”
(Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)

Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.

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Roses Have Thorns: Allowing God to Refine Us

Sometimes our journey of friendship with God isn’t all roses. Roses are beautiful and lovely in appearance and fragrance. They are given to show love, that we are held dear to the heart of the Giver.

But roses also have thorns. When we pick up a rose, we are careful to avoid grabbing the stem where a thorn resides, so we are not stabbed by it. At the same time, we know the thorn is there as we acknowledge it by our making room for it.

When we pursue the Lord, we cannot ignore the hard things. We know they are there. God knows they are. He sees our hearts and all we go through, and He wants to touch our lives even in these areas. But if we pretend these things don’t exist, it can hinder Him from fashioning us in those areas.

Impurities must be brought to surface for the revealing of the fine silver that is us.

It is in the refining that the beauty is able to come forth. Ashes before beauty. The coal before the diamond. But if the pressure upon that coal is hindered, the diamond will not fully come forth.

It is painful at times, but He is worth it, and His glory to be revealed in us is worth it.

Let Him bring the fullness of His character forth in your life. He makes all things beautiful in His time. You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

From Strength to Strength (Psalm 84)

You and I are called to a holy pursuit: the pursuit of friendship with God. Our goal? The closest possible relationship we can have with the Lord, even on this side of eternity. This is the center from which our lives and His Kingdom flow.

The Lord alone satisfies. As wants for success, love, and contentment surface in your life, keep this truth in mind. This truth is key to our pursuit of Jesus.

When we know worldly pursuits will never satisfy, we will more readily refuse to seek other things to meet our God-given longings. We will resolve within ourselves to stay steady on a pilgrimage of pursuit after God’s heart.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:5 (NKJV)

At times the yearning within your heart may make itself known with impatience and neediness as you say no to worldly ways, fleshly lust, and selfish pride. But simply remind your soul: Jesus is worth every self denial. He is worth the weeping, the aching, the waiting.

Keep going and don’t give up. Keep saying “yes” to this pilgrimage day by day, even through the failures and temptations. Get back up again and reset your face upon Jesus. Continue reading

Fire of God: Better Than Fireworks

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD
An offering in righteousness.

(Malachi 3:3)

Life lately has seemed a rollercoaster of ups and downs. The rollercoaster has not been predictable though, as if someone has blindfolded my eyes and plugged my ears throughout the ride.

Now, for someone who doesn’t like actual rollercoasters, sometimes I’d actually rather this be literal, not a metaphor of the life of a growing Christian being continually refined by the God who loves her. In all honesty, I’d rather it be easy! I’d rather be strolling in the garden with my Savior, smiling and laughing, not walking by faith in what is not seen (Hebrews 11:1). But you know what, God is worth it!

Our walk with God is about faith in what we don’t yet see, faith that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Even when we don’t understand His ways, we can trust that His leadership of love is perfect. After all, His ways are higher and better than ours, yet also His love is perfect (Isaiah 55:8-9).

As God grows us in love for Him and into holiness, His refining fire is definitely not always fun and games (1 Peter 1:6-9, Malachi 3:3). At times we deeply feel His great love for us in that He is the very Flame of Love (Song of Songs 4:9-10). At other times the zeal of His jealous love burns our flesh as He seeks to purify our affections for Him (Song 8:6). And even at other moments God seems distant as if He has forsaken us though He never will (Deuteronomy 31:8), teaching us to really walk out our faith in Him and growing our love for Him (Song 5:4-8).

As frustrated as I have been today about spending yet another holiday away from friends and family, God is the best Father ever and I am beyond blessed to be accepted into His awesome family in Jesus! I know He is with me by the dwelling of His Spirit of grace within me, even though He has felt distant and His Refiner’s fire burns painfully at times! Knowing He loves me and that I am His is more precious than any fleeting holiday celebrations!

For me this Fourth of July holds more precious fireworks than those of celebrating independence. The “fireworks” for me today are those of the fire of God and of dependence on Him alone, being refined to pure gold as a vessel set apart for Him alone, the very Flame of Love and the truest Source of life.