Gold!!!

Guy walks into a jewelry store and proceeds to steal a gold watch. As he is running away, the store owners yells at him. “AU, that’s not your watch!”

gold watch

If you didn’t get that joke, go back to the periodic table of elements. Find number 79. It should make itself clear at that point. =-)


My last post, Trials and Chocolate, ended with the promise to blog about Gold bars.

According to www.usmint.gov, here are some fun facts about gold:

  • Amount of present gold holdings: 147.3 million ounces.
  • The only gold removed has been very small quantities used to test the purity of gold during regularly scheduled audits. Except for these samples, no gold has been transferred to or from the Depository for many years.
  • The gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce.
  • Highest gold holdings this century: 649.6 million ounces (December 31, 1941).
  • Size of a standard gold bar: 7 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches x 1 and 3/4 inches.
  • Weight of a standard gold bar: approximately 400 ounces or 27.5 pounds.

Now for the spiritual side of gold.

We are in I Peter, and, if I say so myself, not moving very fast. No problem. It is good to meditate on God’s word. Here is verse 7 of the first chapter:

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

If I read that correctly, my faith has greater value than gold.

Why do we go through trials and tribulations?

So that our faith can be proven.

Gold is put through fire. It needs the fire to be purified.

By itself, the gold cannot remove any impurities.

This process of refining gold is complicated and multi-faceted. I don’t understand it either. But the basics are worth catching.

Gold can be found on all seven continents. Regardless of where it was mined, the gold coming out of the earth is not yet pure. It has a long way to go before it gets to your fiance’s finger.

Hence, the refining process. The fire of God.

gold refining

For us, that comes in the form of hard times, temptations, or struggles.

God is desiring that the impurities are removed.

When Jesus comes back, our lives will reflect His glory. Or they won’t reflect His glory.

We can choose to rely on God through the trial or we can try to stick it out ourselves. 

Think about that last sentence.

Who are we to say that we know better than the Almighty God?

Who am I to ignore His grace just for a moment of pleasure?

As much as it hurts or is uncomfortable, let the refining process happen.

I know that I am trying.

I want to be super shiny when Christ returns. I will reflect His character, praise, honor, and glory so much more that way!


At some point soon, you will probably see gold. It might be your wedding band. Perhaps a gold crayon. Maybe the sky will provide golden hues.

Let that color remind you of these two things:

  1. God is letting you go through the refining process to become pure.
  2. God will also never let you go through it alone.

gold bullion

 

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Trials and Chocolate

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Their names are different.

Some are strong; others are weak.

Minutes, hours, or days can be the duration.

Each person reacts differently to varying types.

To what am I referring?

questioning

Trial. Storms. Temptations. Sufferings. Tests. Hardships. What do you call them?

Peter gives some timely words for us.

Here is verse 6:

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” I Peter 1:6, NIV

Here are my thoughts on Peter’s words.

  1. Trials are diverse. Chocolate might be a weak spot for me but french fries will get my wife every time. We have different trials that affect us.
  2. Trials are distracting. If I am looking at the chocolate, I might miss the meal.
  3. Trials are dividing. I say chocolate is good. My wife likes potato chips better. We are divided on the topic of dessert.
  4. Trials are depleting. My money goes to buy more chocolate. Will I have enough for a regular dinner?
  5. Trials are depressing. What if I eat too much chocolate?

You get the point. And, by the way, chocolate is not that bad for you.


But why are we talking about trials? Didn’t we just get through a few verses of a fantastic inheritance set aside for us?

The answer is, “Yes!” We do have an inheritance. Read my last post to find out more on this topic.

Look at verse 6 again, from earlier. “…for a little while…”

We are not there yet.

We are in a trial period.

trial period

And we can celebrate in the suffering.

We can have joy in the journey.

We can smile in the storm.

We can be happy in the hardship.

We can rejoice (greatly!) during the rain.

Why? Because God is bigger than the trials. He reigns supreme over the hardships.

Out faith will come out like gold when all is done!

gold

And that will be the topic of my next post, Gold bars!

But for now, look to God if you are in a trial. He will see you through it.

And help yourself to a chocolate bar.

 

Who am I?

Who am I? Who are you?

A few days ago, I wrote about being included. Click here to read that post.

I mentioned how the people living in these far off places were included by God. As in, God thought that they were important enough for Peter to write to them.

Here are the first three verses of I Peter for reference.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” I Peter 1:1-3 NIV

The saints were included because of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.

Let me rearrange the wording: They were Included in Christ.

And because the were included in Christ, they could then Identify with Christ.

  • It is one thing to believe in what Jesus did on the cross.
  • But does that belief equal lifestyle?

When Christ finally died on that cross, something unique happened. It is recorded for us in Matthew 27:51;

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

From top to bottom! God did the ripping!

ripping of the veil

Now, what was open only to the high priest once a year, the holy of holies was open to the public! Anyone could enter into relationship with God.

The invite is there, we just need to accept and then attend!

I am included in Christ. If you have given your life to him, then you are also included.

Now we can go forward and be identified with Christ.

Let your life match up with your identity. If it be Christ, then live that way.

There is unlimited power and resource. We have access to the Word.

Be the person God desires you to be.

After all, he chose you.

indentity print

Lent, pt. 33

I had a cool conversation today.

While getting my phone updated, I was chatting with the employee.

cellphones

He and I hit it off.

And then the conversation went deep.

We discussed topics ranging from death to God’s sovereignty to parenting.

But it was also a great time! I felt like God orchestrated the whole thing.

We both agreed that at the end of the day, God is God.

Things happen in life that may confuse us. We don’t always know why.

But God is God.

Another thing we agreed on is that God does not need to be questioned.

He is God and we are not. Trust that fact.

God is God.


So next time you get your phone updated, stand in line at a store, or wait for your coffee, God may have an encounter designed for you.

Maybe, just maybe, it could be just what you (or the other person) needs.

Lent, pt. 24

I met someone at the Olive Garden today.

Wait, I always meet people at the Olive Garden when I am working.

I am a waiter so meeting people is part of my job.

og soup and salad

But enjoying non-food conversations and liking them is a whole other story.

Enter Laney.

Seven women (2 adults and 5 teens) came into the restaurant today.

I had the privilege of waiting on them.

It was a great experience.

And then I learned that Laney has cancer.

Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma. EHE, for short.

But you would never know it. She was funny and sarcastic. She seemed perfectly healthy.

It is not fair that an 18 year old girl should get a terrible disease.

I always wonder why God lets these things happen.

But I am not going to focus on that. Instead, I want to focus on the goodness of God.

Who am I to doubt the King of Kings?

Who am I to wonder if the Creator of the Universe can handle cancer?

Who am I…?

As I go to sleep tonight, two thoughts will swirl through my mind:

God, please heal Laney

Thank you for being good.