Advent Day 17: The Refining Process

Zechariah 13:9
“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.
They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

We have spent the last sixteen days reflecting on the coming of Christ and how we can prepare our hearts and rejoice in His blessings. The next five days we’re going to shift our focus to reflect on how we can get rid of the things that hinder us from loving others as God calls us to—with the radical love of Christ.

If you chose to light a candle today as part of your Advent devotional time, take a hard look at the flame. If not, pause for a moment to picture a candle flame. Notice its glow, its heat.

Fire is often used to purify silver and gold. When the ore is placed into a hot fire it melts, and the impurities can be easily removed, leaving you with a shiny, gorgeous piece of metal. The Bible uses this refining process as an analogy to describe how God helps us grow spiritually.

This is often not one of our favorite things. We don’t like being refined. It’s painful. It shows us things about ourselves we would rather not know. It’s easier to ignore the ugly parts of ourselves than to do something about them.

But the thing about God’s refining process is that at the end of it, we end up as shiny, gorgeous people—people that reflect the image of our Savior. It might be painful and messy, but ultimately getting rid of the sinful parts of ourselves frees us up to live as God calls us to, loving Him and others, all for His glory.

Take a few moments today to offer up your life to God’s refining fire. Ask Him to remove all the impurities standing in the way of His reflection in your life.

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