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Summary: The Woman asked the silver smith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy when I see my image in it." This day, I want to speak of the Refiners Fire. Updated January 2018.

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scripture Readings prior to the message. Today's readings are: Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 84; Hebrews 2:14-18 and Luke 2:22-40

Let us pray... O' Heavenly Father. You are ... the refiner... of our souls. Father May we yield as you refine us and conform us into the image of your Christ. Burn away ... burn away ... all the impurities that lie within us. And allow your image to reflect through us. And it is in the strong and mighty name of your son Jesus the Christ that we pray. Amen!

I recently read a story ... about a group of women .... who were studying the book of Malachi.

As they were reading chapter three, they came across verse three which states: BIBLE "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." END (Malachi 3:3)

This verse intrigued the women .... and they wondered what this statement meant about the character ... and the nature of God.

One of the women offered ... to look into the process of refining silver ... and get back to the group ... at their next Bible study.

That week ... she contacted a silver smith ... and made an appointment to meet with him ... and to watch him ... at work.

She did not mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver ... beyond her curiosity about the process... of refining silver.

As she watched the silver smith, .... he held a piece of silver over the fire ... and let it heat up.

He explained that in refining silver, ... one needed to hold the silver ... in the middle of the fire ... where the flames were the hottest ... in order to burn away ... all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us ... in such a way over the fire ... then she thought again about the verse, ......... (Slow) ... " He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silver smith if it was true ... that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was ... being refined.

The man answered that yes, ... he not only had to sit there holding the silver, ...... but he also had to keep his eyes on the silver for the entire time ... it was in the fire.

If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, .... it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment.

Then she asked the silver smith, ... "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy.... (Slow) ... when I see my image ... in it." (Pause)

Beloved ... I want to speak of the refiner's fire.

It is a biblical concept ...... (Slow) and it involves each one of us.

We are all going through the process ... we are all going through .... the refiner's fire.

We are each called .... to yield to God and be transformed .... into the image of his Christ.

And This I promise You .... Hear me on This ... God has a plan ... for your life. REPEAT

We are called to be transformed .... To be Christ-like.

The Scriptures are clear ... hear God's word: BIBLE "And we ... are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." END 2 Corinthians 3:18

Paul told the believers gathered in Rome that BIBLE "We are to be conformed (REPEAT) to the image of his Son, ... " END Romans 8:29

(Slow) It is a Command.

God is calling us to be Christ-like.

The great writer and theologian C.S. Lewis said: "once we give God permission, .... by surrendering our lives to Him, ... He will not stop that process of purifying us ... no matter how painful or unpleasant it may be."

We will be refined.

All Believers will be refined.

Paul understood this process. Remember his words: BIBLE "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." END Romans 8:18

And The process of being purified will result in ... glory... that is revealed IN us.

It is God's purpose .... To refine us ... to purify us.

And God has a plan to purify us.

And It is a twofold plan.

God's part was sending his son Jesus.

The Scriptures are clear BIBLE "Now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death ... to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation" Ephesians 1:22

The Scriptures Go on "...who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. "END Titus 2:14

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