For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap (Mal. 3:2). As I think of those two images, my perception is that purification would be a painful ordeal, something I would rather avoid.
I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense (1 John 2:1). I had sinned. It was just that simple, except it was different this time.
I still tend to ignore the warning signs of past experiences, cautions in the Bible, or the restraining hand of God.
God is concerned about us caring for and protecting our bodies.
My problem is that I want all the knowledge and all the understanding right now.
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long (Ps. 32:3). Instead of dread, I can now face the Powerful Judge with peace.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love (John 13:1). How do I think of Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of kings, and look upon him as a servant, even for the briefest moment?
You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me (Ps. 139:1). To say "God is here and everywhere" doesn't mean much, so I like to personalize the immanence of God.
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness (Heb. 12:10). "I'm doing this because I love you," God is saying. "Even if you don't understand or don't agree, please trust me that it's for your good."
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens (Ps. 68:19). The kind of burden doesn't matter. He is the Burden-Bearer, who's waiting for us to offer our heavy, exhausting loads to him.
Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:13). I prefer God to communicate through activity, through events, through visible evidence.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight (Luke 24:31). The Mysterious Stranger is around, and I've committed myself to develop a listening ear.