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Be Holy

We are in a powerful series at church right now called, “Be Holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 tells us, Be holy because I am holy. This is the Lord calling His people to look different than the world and more like Him. Holiness means “to be set apart.” As Christ-followers, it is easy to go along with the culture in which we live. There are some sins that are obvious, but there are many sins that are subtle. Sins that are “culturally acceptable” and even encouraged. Yet, we must decide - will we live for Jesus or will we live for culture? Will you be holy?

In Malachi 3, the prophet talks about this “Refiner’s Fire.” The Refiner’s Fire was a process where they would burn the dross, the impurity, off of a precious metal. Gold or silver would be heated up in the fire so that it would be so hot that all the dross would burn off and rise to the surface. The Refiner would then pull the dross to the side, and pull out the precious metal which would be even more beautiful and valuable - pure gold and silver. This is what God wants to do in the life of a Christ-follower. This is what God wants to do in you.

So, what is the dross in our life? For most of us, the obvious sins are not an issue or a problem. Most Christ-followers are not committing murder - we know this is wrong - or out stealing. We have the conviction of the Holy Spirit and we have laws in our land. However, there are less obvious areas where we all struggle. There are places in each of our lives where sin comes and takes hold, and God needs to burn off the dross. The problem comes when we don’t address it. We allow the dross, the plaque, the dirt, the impurity to stay and we even continue to feed it. This is why we need to periodically stop in our lives and allow God to search us. As David prayed, Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any impure way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

The Refiner’s Fire is not an easy process. The fire is hot. We have to do the work. We have to humble ourselves before God and allow Him to refine us. Allowing the Lord to search our hearts and thoughts is not always pleasant. We know the impurities in our lives, but then there are times when the Holy Spirit convicts us of something that it seems everyone else is doing. We have to make the decision to submit to Him or harden our hearts to the work of God in our lives.

In our series, we are addressing these seven subtle sins and asking the Lord to convict us. What about you? Is there any area in your life that is looking more like the world than like Jesus? Sexual immorality is a challenging one in our culture today. We all know adultery is wrong, and yet we continue to see pastors, teachers, politicians, coaches and more fall in this area every week. So, what happens? Well, it is subtle. It doesn’t start with the affair, it starts with a thought. It starts with watching the TV series that everyone is watching. Then, we entertain the thoughts in our minds and hearts. The dross starts to build up. Instead of stopping or confessing, people move to porn on phones, movies and more. Until, one night, one meeting, one invitation leads down a path of destruction. How many marriages, careers, children have been impacted because of this subtle sin? 

Or, worry. Excessive worry is practical atheism. We forget about God. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father who promises to always provide and protect us. But, the worries start to build up. We play out worst-case scenarios in our minds. The dross covers over the beauty of our relationship with God. And, Jesus comes along and says, This is what the pagans do. Matthew 6:32. Jesus calls us out for looking more like culture - pagans - than looking like sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

What dross does God need to burn off in your life? Can you pray, “Search me, O God?” Maybe you are beginning to compromise in the area of sexual immorality or worry. Or, maybe it is in the area of selfishness - thinking life is all about you. Or, ungratefulness - you think God owes you more. Or, maybe it is greed - money has a hold of your heart. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to bring conviction into your life? Will you confess and be bold enough to go through the refiner’s fire?

God refines us out of His love. It is not always easy, but the best things in life (outside of salvation in Jesus) never are. There is a process where God turns up the heat in our lives, and we are refined. Be honest with yourself and with God. Allow Him to take you through this process, burn off the dross and make you even more beautiful than you have ever been. Every thought, dream, desire under the Lordship of Christ. A life fully lived for Jesus and for His glory. Can you imagine the impact on your future, your family and on generations? Wow! Let’s be holy!


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