Cloth can dust off a piece of gold, but the metal must be refined to remove embedded impurities. That is, it must be melted by fire so that any tarnish or pollution can rise and be skimmed from the surface.
The Christian life is frequently compared to this process. When we face struggles, God is refining us like precious metal, digging deep into our lives to eliminate all the dirt and pollution. He does this not to hurt us, but to help us grow into beautiful reflections of the life of His Son (Mal. 3:3).
Too often we hear people exclaim, “This world is out of control!” Those with little or no belief in an almighty God of the universe find themselves without any source of strength or encouragement when their world begins to collapse. Family heartache, financial problems, national tragedies—these are all things we’ve witnessed firsthand. In the face of such turmoil, how can we be sure God is in control?
You want proof God is in control…look no further than his word. Genesis reveals God’s complete control on page after page from beginning to end. In this first book of the Bible, we see Him as the supreme Lord of creation by creating absolutely everything out of absolutely nothing. We see Him providing a way for you and me to conquer sin and death to achieve victory, in spite of the invasion of sin into the world. We see Him destroying every single person on earth with a great flood, but saving one family to repopulate the earth. Again and again throughout Genesis, we see this pattern: God plans to do something, and despite human unfaithfulness, His perfect will is accomplished. This is the case throughout all of Scripture, and it’s still true today. God is in control … despite our pain, questions, turmoil, and selfishness. And He promises to use any adversity we face to refine us into the image of His Son.
Baseball: Cracker Jacks
Anyone remember Cracker Jacks? Once a staple at every baseball park in America. They can actually still be found today. The Cracker Jack name and slogan, “The More You Eat The More You Want”, were registered in 1896…yea they have been around for over 120 years. Everyone knows what comes in a box (or bag) of Cracker Jack: kernels of popcorn drenched in a super-sweet molasses-flavored caramel coating, peanuts and a paper-wrapped toy prize. Recently, the 125-year tradition of including that toy prize has ended. Going forward, Cracker Jackers will now find deep inside the sweetness … a digital code. The codes can be used to play games on smartphones…. the online games have replaced prizes entirely.
Shout out to the Steelers: a win over the hapless Falcons AKA Dirty Birds. Not because I am a Steeler Fan but due in large part by my beloved Daughter donning steeler socks on Sunday…#LoveThoseSocks.
Go Noles!!! FSU versus Oklahoma in the Cheeze-it Bowl, 29 Jan 23 in Orlando.
Lastly, Chile Cook-off at Church coming up this Sunday. Yours truly will have an entry. Don’t plan on being the best but guaranteed to be the hottest…Habanero hotness coming at ya soon!