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The Refiner

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. 
As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, 
which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver". This 
verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant 
about the character and nature of God. 
One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining 
silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week 
this woman called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch 
him at work. She didn't 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 hottest so as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought 
about God holding us in such a hot spot -- then she thought again 
about the verse, that 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 had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it 
was in the fire. For 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 the easy 
part -- when I see my image reflected in it." 
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has 
His eye on you and will keep His hand on you and watch over you until 
He sees His image in you.


"Neither doctrinal purity nor diligent labor will ever be a substitute for passionate devotion to God."

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