God Time Devo

Filter By:

Awaken 2019: A Refined Heart

main image
“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts.” - Proverbs 17:3

A refining pot or crucible is unfamiliar to most of us in 21stcentury America, but it was a common item in biblical times. A refining pot was a durable piece of ceramic that could be heated to very high temperatures in a furnace or on an open flame. During that time, when a metalworker wanted to purify gold or silver, he or she would put the metal into a refining pot and heat it until the metal liquified. Once the refining pot was heated, the impurities would be forced to the surface and become visible. As the impurities rose, they were removed, and more heat was applied. This process continued until the precious metal was pure. The metalworkerknew the gold or silver was pure when he looked into the liquid metal within the refining pot and saw his reflection.

In today’s passage from Proverbs 17, the process of refining precious metal is used to illustrate the work God does in our hearts. God applies heat by exposing our weaknesses, our struggles, and aspects of our life that do not reflect His life. Heat is both hot and uncomfortable, but as it is applied in our lives, we are conformed more into the image of God.  

God’s desire is to shape our lives in such a way that when people look at us, they see Him. He loves us enough to take us through the slow and sometimes painful process of purification. As a result of this process, our faith is strengthened, and our lives are refined. We can all look back at difficult moments on our Christian journey and identify painful but necessary ways that God refined our hearts.

Another example of the refining process is when diamonds are formed in nature. The formation of natural diamonds requires temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme pressures 90 miles below the surface. A good friend of our church, Pastor Gregg Matte, describes that process by saying, No pressure, no diamond.”

Regardless of where you are spiritually in God’s divine refining process, you can be encouraged by this today: the unexpected circumstances and periods of “pressure” in your life, that you desperately want to change, are often what God uses in order to change you.

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • How has your heart become hard to the voice of God? See Hebrews 3:15
  • When is a time your faith was strengthened that you can look back on now and thank God? See Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28
  • Do you need to change your perspective of a current circumstance in light of God’s divine process of refinement?  

Click Here to read more about God Time

Awaken 2019: A Surrendered Heart

main image
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:1-2

Dictionary.com defines the word sacrifice as “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.” By this definition, every act of sacrifice has behind it an exchange. Whether it is a parent surrendering sleep to care for a newborn or a dieter giving up certain desserts in order to lose weight, the process of sacrifice begins with finding something better that can be gained in exchange.

In today’s verses from Romans 12, what is the bigger purpose that followers of Jesus are to sacrificially exchange their lives for as an act of worship? Answer: God’s glory. We are called to be living sacrifices in order to display the worth of God (v. 1)! John Piper describes this act of worship this way:

“Let every act of your body in living be an act of worship. That is, let every act of your living body be a demonstration that God is your treasure. Let every act of your living body show that Christ is more precious to you than anything else. Let every act of your living body be a death to all that dishonors Christ.’

Our lives are to display our devotion to the One we worship, who has set us free from sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).  This begins with a heart that is surrendered and continues as we daily offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God’s plan and purpose. Jesus expressed this reality to His disciples by saying, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). 

God desires to leverage your life for more than what you can see and what our culture sells. 2019 is another opportunity to present yourself as a living sacrifice to the Lord and allow Him to transform your life.  As this happens, it allows you to more clearly understand His good and acceptable and perfect will (v. 2).

The universal sign of surrender is waving a white flag (cloth, handkerchief) because white is color of purity and nonaggression. It communicates, I give up fighting.” Take a few moments today and make a fresh surrender of every aspect of your life to the Lord.

In conclusion, take some time to read and reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you struggle to release control of your decisions and trust God? See Proverbs 3:5-6
  • How is God leading you to leverage your time, talent, and treasure for His glory? See Acts 20:24
  • How are you allowing God to renew your mind on a daily basis? See Galatians 5:19-22

Click Here to read more about God Time

12345678910 ... 189190