Yet You, LORD are our Father. We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
God is the Great Purifier. "Yet You, LORD are our Father. We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8). We were once, nothing more than mere dust of the earth. Having nothing more glorious within us then mere elements of the earth, and nothing precious or valued for certain. Common elements of which no man can boast. All that we have, within us, that is good is of the Eternal and Everlasting One, of whom we give all praise, honor and glory. We have as lowly earthen clay vessels nothing of which to boast before a Mighty God. There is no light in us. Having nothing, yet receiving all, is our victory song. Yes, we should relish in boasting of the true and wonderful riches of our heavenly Father who graciously and lavishly supplied all of our needs. (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It should cause us great fear and we should tremble at the thought of approaching such a One. Who is man that You are mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4) We should be joyful that He even would think about us. Yes, David was absolutely right in asking why such a Holy God would care for a mere mortal, when we have nothing to offer. No pleasing sacrifice. Our hands are empty. They are stained with the guilt of our iniquities against His holiness and righteousness. He gave us His covenant law, but we only smeared His name with the knowledge as we abounded even more in the sins of our trespasses. (Romans 5:20). Fear. Fear and trembling is how we should enter the gates of His everlasting dwelling. For He has only been inhabited with the praises of His glory; the Holy angels which sing of His glory with a ever constant beautiful melody of, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was, is, and is yet to come." (Revelation 4:8). And all we have done is profane His holy name by neither glorifying nor thanking Him (Romans 1:21).
Oh the sweet thought that the O'Mighty would do even far more than just to think of us. That He could be so kind and gracious that He would show mercy and favor to us, that while we were yet sinners He sent His only begotten Son to suffer and die so that whosoever believes in Him should not die but have ever lasting life with Him. (John 3:16). And that He would dress us in His glory (Romans 8:29-30). We ought not ever question or doubt such a love as this. Has ever there ever a man to show such great love among us? Never. We all seek after our own. It's only by the constant work of the Holy Spirit within us, ever working, always instructing and leading us away from our own selfishness and sinful desires. He must be like a branding rod to the soul and pierce our conscious with the thunderbolt of light (John 8:12, 16:8; Hebrews 9:14) to get us to stop running after every earthly desire we can conjure up in our feeble hearts and minds.
It is a cursed thing to say, "I am good and the Lord knows my heart therefore He will grant me access to heaven" for it implies that truth and life are within us and that we have something good within us to offer the Most High. Foolishness. Rubbish! Let every man be a liar and God be true. (Romans 3:4). We are but earthen vessels of clay. We have no luster. We are only dull and lifeless: dead in our trespasses before a Holy God. (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). Yet so many carry on in such a foolish way, as if they've got something to offer; some sacrifice of their messily lives that would be greater than the sacrifice of His beloved Son upon a cursed tree. The wretched man that we are. Surely we are dead in our trespasses as our sins will breed forth death (Romans 6:23: James 1:15; Hebrews 6:1). What must happen to such blasphemous thoughts of dead works to bring such death to life? What could possibly bring such an uplifted horn back down into humble submission before a Holy God? "Look, I have refined you, but not as silver: I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." (Isaiah 48:10 CSB). This furnace of affliction is our life of trials and sufferings. Only through suffering is one made perfect. (Hebrews 2:10, 12:23, Romans 5:3-5). Only through suffering and reaching the end of oneself, can man see the glory of God that only truth and life are found in the Father. Such dreadful thoughts must be burned by the refining work of Lord Jesus' blood being poured on upon the cross and the indwelling of a Holy God teaching and leading in ways of righteousness, truth and wisdom.
Man must come to end of himself to see a Holy Righteous God.
The Lord Is Establishing His Kingdom. "The silver surely hath His vein, and the gold His palace, where they take it. Iron is taken out of the dust, and brass is molten out of the stone. God putteth an end to darkness, and He trieth the perfection of all things: He setteth a bond of darkness, and of the shadow of death." (Job 28:1-3 GNV). He is ending the darkness of our minds by burning off of the filthy dross of our dead works of righteousness so the light of Man can shine within us, so that we can go to His holy hill. Those of us, who will give Him thanks and glorify Him, we will be the ones invited and able to sit at the banquet feast with the Father. He is refining us and our nation to establish His throne of righteousness. (Isaiah 1:25; Proverbs 24:4-5). The dross of pride and arrogance of the flesh will be burned off, here in the life, with the fiery trials of a Holy God. "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness." (Malachi 3:3 NIV). The Lord wants clean hands and a pure heart to offer our sacrifices before Him in righteousness. Nothing short of true worship in Spirit and truth will suffice such an Awesome God. (John 4:24). For He did not delight in the blood of bulls and goats, when they were offered without true adoration of Him.
Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. (Hebrews 13:15).
We know that God in His divine foreknowledge always willed to call all man unto Himself. (1 John 2:2, Matthew 22:14) and that the gentiles would be included in this glorious wealth, that the hope of glory would live within us. (Colossians 1:27). We were bought with a price, therefore we are to give the sacrifice of honoring God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20). We know that through the blood of Jesus Christ we are the priests and priestesses of the new covenant (1 Peter 2:9). He is transforming lifeless clay vessels into vessels of honor for His glory and righteousness.
"For you have tried us, O God, You have refined us as silver is refined." (Psalm 66:10).
He is building His kingdom and we are the inhabitants, the vessels that will forever dwell in the house of the Lord. These vessels are most precious to God, of all of His household, even more precious then angels (1 Chronicles 29:3-5; Hebrews 1:4-14). Why? We have become one with the Son, as He is with the Father (John 17:21), for it was fitting to God that through suffering the Son would lead many to glory (Hebrews 2:10). And having gone through the fiery trials of life, the tongue that will speak to the glory of God and of His righteousness, this is a choice vessel, like choice silver to God. (Proverbs 8:10). How blessed are the feet of those who proclaim the gospel of peace. (Romans 10:15).
This Kingdom is holy; and the priests there-within must be holy and they must make sacrifices. For Christ, the mediator and High Priest of this covenant offered a pleasing and perfect sacrifice on the altar, which was His own blood. (Hebrews 9:28). A sacrifice made in love: love of the Father and love of mankind (John 15:13). So we ought also to make a sacrifice of love, as we gather together bearing one another's burdens in a holy assembly. (Ephesians 4:2, 5:2).
If such a holy and righteous God, should put His mind to loving us, and His hand to transforming us from worthless clay vessels bound for destruction into vessels of honor to carry His glory, ought we not give Him all the praise, honor and glory? For all that we have, is His. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3). All good and perfect gifts have come down to us from the Father of lights. (James 1:17). He has given us all things. (Romans 8:32). He has given back to man, the keys to the kingdom. (Matthew 16:19). All that He asks in return is that we give Him thanks and honor Him. Let us pray.
Dear heavenly Father, we humble ourselves before You. We bow before You for You alone are good. We lift our eyes to You for we only live only through Christ Jesus who opened the door of forgiveness so that Your glorious light may shine upon us once again. We give you thanks for all that You have given us. We ask God that You would forgive us our sins, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Help us to not sin against You. Help us to love as You do. Help us to love what You love; and to hate what You hate. Teach us Your ways; for they are the paths to eternal life. Fill us with Your Spirit Lord. Let us drink in all that You give. Fill us full of Your tender mercy and grace. We ask all this is the presence of our Lord Jesus. Amen.
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