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Friday, May 2, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 5

I Peter 1:6-7 - In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Faith is a miracle. It is a gift the Holy Spirit plants in our hearts when Jesus is preached into our ears (Romans 10:17). With faith comes Jesus and all His gifts of life, forgiveness, and salvation. Faith is not my work that God rewards, but a Holy Spirit-made trust that believes the promises of God are for me! It is beyond value in this world. It is “of greater worth than gold,” Peter says.

This is not to say that gold is not valuable. In this world, fewer things have more value. But, gold is not always pure. In order to make it so, one must subject gold to tremendous amounts of heat so it melts down into a liquid form. As that happens, the impurities rise to the top and are able to be skimmed off. Gold must go through a refining process.

Well, if that is how one of the world’s most precious metals must be treated in order to remove impurities, what then should we expect with our faith? Faith brings Jesus and all his benefits, but it also brings trials which melt us down to remove our impurities. The Christian life is not one of constant happiness and victory. Rather, it is full of purifying fires which drive us to our knees in prayer, purge our sinful nature, and teach us to cling to Jesus.

There are many things that we cling to besides Jesus in this world. We trust in them to help and save us. But, those things are idols and are powerless. Our grip on them is tight, so letting go can be painful. But the Spirit uses such trials to break our hold. And He does it for our good. He teaches us to repent and believe, to trust and to hope, to pray and to pray some more. Though it may hurt at the time, the end result is a faith more precious than gold that reflects the glory of Jesus and will result in praise, glory, and honor at His return.

+PRAYER+
Father in heaven, in your mercy you even use my trials to strengthen my faith. Forgive me for wanting to give up and cling to my idols. I thank you for giving me faith and for your Word that teaches me to cling to your Son in my struggles. Teach me to let go of my idols and purify me for the sake of Jesus. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email