“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts,” Proverbs 17:3 ESV. Dross is a mass of impurities floating in molten metal. Whether working with steel or precious metals, the quality cannot be improved without removing the dross. When the heat is on, gold grows purer while the dross masses become even more impure. Metal can’t purify itself; only the furnace can reveal its imperfections. So it is with a sports team, a church, or for that matter, any human enterprise. Those with impure motives, immaturity, or insincere hearts often want to be a part or even in the lead, but sadly, they are hindrances to a quality outcome, and sooner or later, they must change or be removed. And so it with my soul; the dross has to go. Lord, You are the Great Craftsman. Cleanse all impurities from my heart and deliver me from wicked pretenders.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever,” Psalm 136:1 ESV. In this chapter, David states twenty-six times: “His love endures forever.” And every verse of this psalm repeats this simple but profound truth. At times I feel God’s love, yet at times, I lose awareness of it. But I know His love never diminishes, never grows cold, and never, ever ends: Lamentations 3:22-23 states: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Our human view of God’s love is clouded by our capacity to love without conditions or limitations. But 1 John 4:8 ends with this simple phrase “God is love.” He does not “fall in love,” become “more loving,” or “less loving”; He IS love. Father, make me an open channel of Your amazing love to all whom I encounter.