Lessons

Count it All Joy

 Count It All Joy
Jerry Bouey
 

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials in this race.
Count it all joy, my brethren, as you seek the Saviour’s face.
Jesus is with you through every trial.
He will stand by you all the while.
Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials that you’ve seen.
Count it all joy, my brethren, for nothing can come between,
And separate you from the Lord.
Just cling to Jesus and His Word.

Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, this trial is but for a season.
Count it all joy, my brethren, the Lord has planned it for a reason.
He is working out all things for your good,
As only our Heavenly Father could.
Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials that you go through.
Count it all joy, my brethren, for the fires that purify you.
As He molds this vessel to perfection,
Someday Jesus will behold His reflection.
Count it all joy.

March 12th, 2002
Jerry Bouey

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He did foreknow,
He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:28-29

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

James 1:2-4

Vessels Unto Honour

Monthly Ladies meetings: People’s Baptist Church, Kelowna, BC

Teacher: Mrs. Wendy Madle

VESSELS UNTO HONOUR

 

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, an some to dishonour.

2 Timothy 2:20

All Bible quotations are from the King James Bible 1611

 

Text – 2 Timothy 2:20-26

A vessel is a hollow utensil for holding things. Vessels can be different shapes, each for a different purpose. A vessel of honour (such as silver or gold) will be used for a much greater purpose than that of wood and earth (clay).

Symbolic Vessels:

1. Earthen Vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7)

2. Weaker Vessel – Wife (1 Peter 3:7)

3. Vessel of Honor – the saved (2 Timothy 2:21; Romans 9:21-23)

4. Vessels of Dishonour – the lost (Romans 9:21-23)


I. Who Is Represented As This Vessel? ___________
A. Some Biblical examples of what a useful vessel would hold:
1. _________ – Exodus 12:22-23 (The vessel was a _________)
 
 
 

 

Because of the blood of Christ we have been:
a. _____________________ – Ephesians 2:13-16
b. _____________________ – Ephesians 1:7
c. _____________________ – Romans 5:9
d. _____________________ – Hebrews 13:11-12


2. _____________ – Exodus 16:11-33 (This vessel was a ___________) We as human vessels have Christ, the Bread of Life – John 6:31-35
3. _____________ – Numbers 16:6-18 (The vessel was a censer) As a human vessel we need to offer our incense (prayers) unto God. Exodus 30:7; Psalm 141:1-2; Luke 1:9-10; Revelation 5:8
4. _____________ – Exodus 29:7; 30:22-31; Matthew 25:1-4. Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. We need to be ____________ with the Holy Spirit (Psalm 23:5; 45:7) and be ____________ with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21) (Note: this is a COMMAND!)
B. Reasons to be a vessel
1. We are bought with a price – Titus 2:14
2. We are not our own – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
3. We love the Lord – 1 John 4:19
 

 

 

 


II. How To Become A Vessel Of Honour
A. _____________ youthful lusts (1 Timothy 2:22a) Galatians 5:16; James 1:13-15; 1 Peter 2:11
B. _____________ (2 Timothy 22:2b)
1. _____________________ 1 Corinthians 15:34; Philippians 1:11; Proverbs 21:21
2. _____________________ Romans 10:17; 1 John. 5:4
3. _____________________ Ephesians 5:2; Colossians 3:14
4. _____________________ Psalm 34:14, Colossians 3:15
5. _____________________ 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22
C. ________________ questions which gender strife (2 Timothy 2:23) 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9

An honourable vessel is one that is esteemed or regarded highly. In order to remain vessels of honour, one needs to purge or separate from vessels of dishonour (II Timothy 2:21) II Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:1-11; 1 John 2:15-17. A vessel of honour needs to maintain its usefulness by avoiding contamination.

 

 

 

 


III. Areas To Be A Vessel of Honour

A. _________________ – John 12:26
B. _________________ – Proverbs 31:25; 11:16
C. _________________ – Proverbs 31:28-29
D. _________________ – 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Samuel 20

 

 

Although the Answer Key is provided,

I pray that it will only be used as a reference

after you have personally looked up all verses,

and entered in all information for yourself.

Answer Key

Vessels Unto Honour


I. (Put your name here.) The Christian (child of God)
A.1. Blood, bason
a. reconciled (made close to God, no longer enemies of God.)
b. redeemed (bought with a price – redemption through His blood.)
c. justified (accounting the guilty as just before God)
d. sanctified (set apart for a particular purpose)
2. Manna (food or bread) pot
3. Incense
4. Oil, anointed, filled
 
 

 

 


II. How To Become A Vessel of Honour
A. Flee
B. Follow (you need to have a leader to be a follower)
1. Righteousness
2. Faith (if we believe, we should obey – example: Abraham)
3. Charity
4. Peace
5. Pure heart
C. Avoid
 
 
 

 


III. Areas To Be A Vessel of Honour
A. The Lord’s service – as a Christian
B. Spouse / wife
C. Mother
D. Friendships

One Step Forward

Memory Verse: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely…” Hosea 14:4

This week’s devotion is on “backsliding.” This represents things in my life that I keep bringing to the Lord, asking for His help. Things like…Bible reading, a better prayer life, a closer walk with Him. Also things like being a better wife and mother, keeping my home organized and clutter free. To be more friendly and not so withdrawn from people, to improve my self-image of myself.

I pray and ask the Lord for help in all these areas. I know He hears my prayers, because for awhile, things will improve. I read my Bible every day, I pray, and I feel closer to the Lord. Things improve at home as well.

Then it happens. Something will happen, or someone will say or do something that will cause me to falter in my resolve to do better. Some little doubt or fear will creep in and cause me to stumble again. I know the Lord is always there to pick me up and set me on my feet again, but I often wonder if He ever gets tired of that. Why do I allow those things into my life that I know will cause me to falter and stumble. When I am walking close to my Lord, and everything is wonderful, why do I allow things in that take that all away! I guess it is the age old battle of the “old man” versus the “new man.” Satan doesn’t want me to have a close relationship with my Lord. He delights in seeing me falter and fall away from that sweet fellowship with God. The harder he can make me fall, the better he likes it. I need to determine to not let circumstances and tribulations come my way, it is at those times that I need to draw closer to the Lord. I need to set my eyes on Him, and rely on His strength to get me through the storms.

I bought a framed picture just before Christmas, and I love the “verse” it has printed on it. It says, “Sometimes God calms the storm…Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.” This spoke volumes to my heart when I first saw it!

My prayer is that the Lord would indeed calm me when it is His will for me to go through the storm that is raging about me!

Can you see into the future?

     We all have heard of fortune tellers; people that say they can tell your future by reading your palms, looking into a crystal ball, etc.  We all know that is not true but we do have insight into the direction of our lives if we seek the Lord’s will for our life and read/study our Bible.  The Word of God gives us so much instruction for our life, that we really should not have an excuse when things go astray in our life.   

     I love the Psalms and Proverbs.  It is amazing how although the words were written so long ago, they are still applicable, here in 2009.  Why is that?  Because the Word of God is inspired and God knew what we would need even in the 21st Century. 

     My husband and I have a jail ministry.  I am able to minister to ladies in two county jails and my husband is able to minister to men in several county jails.  We both are able to go in our local prison.  I find that often I go in to be a blessing and I come out being the one blessed! 

     Proverbs 22:3 is a common verse that my husband uses in the jail ministry.  It tells us that ”A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished”.  How true this is.  We see that both individuals are faced with the same thing, but the choice they make determines the outcome. 

     A prudent or wise man will study the situation, think about what the temptation is, and then hide himself from the situation.  He may have to put on his armour (Eph 6:11-18) and stand guard in order to “hide” from the situation. 

     The simple or foolish man is one that will not believe the warnings and will pass on and be punished.  This person goes into the situation knowing what the warnings are, but continues on anyway.  I am glad that the Bible tells us that in times of temptation, God provides a “way out” (I Cor 10:13) if we take it.

     In working with the ladies, I have heard lots of stories about why they are in jail.  One lady sticks out in my mind.  She was in jail due to drugs.  She gave a clear salvation testimony but had backslidden and become addicted to drugs.  She remained in jail for quite a while and we saw growth in her Christian walk.  I forewarned her that upon her release, the devil would tempt her in every way possible to get her to go back to her old lifestyle (physically, through friends, emotionally).  It was not too long after that I saw her back in jail.  I questioned her as to what happened.  She said she was in “that” area of town one day running some errands and came to a stop sign.  To go home, she would take a left.  To go to the old drug house, she would take a right.  She decided in her mind that she wanted to “ride by” to see who was there.  She was not going to stop and doing drugs was the last thing on her mind.  Needless to say, she made that turn, made that stop and did what she thought she would never do again.   “…the simple pass on and are punished.”  I have seen many lives ruined due to just one bad choice.

     There is an old saying that says a fool does not learn from mistakes, a smart person learns from his mistakes but the wisest person of all learns from the mistakes of others.  The Bible is loaded with instruction and warnings for our day-to-day living, and has examples of men and women who made poor choices and those that made the right choice.  We cannot see into the future, but we know Who holds the future, and we have His Word to guide us.   Be prudent and wise when making decisions and facing life’s challenges.

The Lord Thinketh Upon Me

The Lord Thinketh Upon Me

Jerry Bouey

 

                             


King David was awed and overwhelmed by the knowledge that God knew all that was in his life, in his thoughts, in his heart, and in all his tomorrows. This is what he said:
Psalms 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

The fact that His Heavenly Father cared for Him was wonderful to him – as it should be to all God’s children!

Psalms 139:13 For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

Reins are what drive us – our minds, wills, personalities. According to this passage, the Lord not only created us, He created what makes each of us unique, including our personalities.

I remember as a younger Christian, I used to get discouraged because I was serious-minded most of the time, when I laughed it was something fleeting. I had so many people tell me I needed to be more lighthearted, more easy-going – I couldn’t change my personality, my inward being, to suit them – and I was made to feel like my personality was wrong. But then a kind Christian woman showed me this passage, and just as God’s Word teaches that He made us as we are (height, physical appearance, and traits such as hair and eye color, etc.) – so too He made my basic personality (not referring to sinful characteristics, but to general manner). When I realized this, it took a load off of me. I realized I could be satisfied with the way my Heavenly Father made me. How about you – have you accepted the way God made you?

Psalms 139:14 I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Jeremiah 1:5a Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.

Job 10:9-13 Remember, I beseech Thee, that Thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt Thou bring me into dust again? Hast Thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast Thou hid in Thine heart: I know that this is with Thee.

Like a Potter, the Lord God fashioned each of us, like vessels of clay. Notice the last verse above: And these things hast Thou hid in Thine heart. The work He has done in creating us was important to Him.

Psalms 139:15 My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

God made Adam out of the dust of the ground, and each of us is fashioned out of that same dust (earth) in the wombs of our mothers, away from the prying eyes of man – but always developing under God’s watchful care.

In verse 16, it says, Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Notice it says “unperfect”, not imperfect. Unperfect means “incomplete, or not complete (yet)”. God knew all about us before He even began to create us. When we were yet unformed in the womb, the Potter knew exactly what the finished vessel (product) would look like – and He had everything about us already written down in a book in Heaven, before He began to develop and form us.

It is an interesting study to look at the other books that God keeps His records in Heaven: the Book of Life (or the Living) in Psalms 69:28; the Books of our Works with which the lost will be judged by in Revelation 20:13; the Book of Remembrance in Malachi 3:16; the Book of Tears:

Psalm 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?

Psalms 40:5, 17 Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

The Lord’s thoughts are continually toward His creation. He didn’t just create this world and then walk away from it – He is actively involved in the lives of His creatures.

Why did God create man?

Revelations 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

He created mankind so we could bring Him pleasure. He created us for fellowship and to reciprocate His love. But He did not want to make robots – He wanted to give us a free-will, so we could freely reject Him or freely love Him in return. Unfortunately, with that choice, mankind could and did choose to rebel against his Creator.

BUT knowing that man would rebel, the Lord God planned His way of salvation before He even created the world – a plan that all three members of the Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) would be actively involved in (just as all three members were involved in the creation of the Heaven and the earth).

Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” This plan was so sure in the heart of God, that He considered it as good as done – just awaiting His perfect timing to bring it into effect.

The book of Revelation (17:8) also refers to believers (the saved, those who have repented of their sins and received the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ) as those who have their names “written in the (Lamb’s) Book of Life from the foundation of the world.” (See also 13:8; 20:15; 21:27)

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Psalms 139:17-18 How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.

God created each of us for a purpose – have you received His gift of salvation? Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, believing that He shed His blood and died for your sins upon the cross (paying the complete penalty that our sins deserved), that He was buried and rose again three days later? If you have done so, are you walking in fellowship with your Saviour now?

You are important to the Heavenly Potter, to the Creator, and He is continually thinking about all those He created. Are God’s thoughts important to you?

Remember, the Lord thinketh upon you!

Written and preached June 25th/05
Jerry BoueyOn Friday, June 9th, I had an opportunity to preach my study Earthen Vessels from John 9. God sure does have a sense of humour!! The power went out just before I got up to preach. A darkened room where no one could see, except for the light behind me, really got the message of the healing of the blind man across!

 

                             

Come Forth As Gold

The Furnace Of Affliction
Part Two
Come Forth As Gold

Jerry Bouey


Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:10

1) Man’s Outward Trials.

A) Mankind In General:It is obvious, from the overall testimony of Scripture, from beginning to ending, man’s lot on this earth is full of trials, troubles, afflictions, sufferings. Every since Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden, the curse of sin has affected all of our lives. The furnace of affliction has affected all of us.Psalms 90:3, 5-10 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

B) The Christian’s Trials:Another principle comes through loud and clear from the pages of the God’s Word: the Christian is not exempt from trials. Even those that have been born again through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will face this furnace of affliction at various times throughout their lives. The way of the Cross is not a rose-strewn pathway, despite what some modern religious philosophers and teachers like to teach. Our problems in life do not end the moment we come to Christ – though it is true that those who are saved have their Heavenly Father working out all things according to His perfect will and plan for their lives, which includes conforming them to the image of His Son. (See Romans 8:28-29)2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

John Bunyan stated,
“A Christian man is seldom long at ease,
When one trouble’s gone another doth him seize.”

2) The Christian’s Trials Outweigh Those Of The Lost.I believe this is a principle that is often overlooked and is one reason we are told to count the cost. Like Daniel’s three friends in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, the Christian’s furnace of affliction has often been heated seven times hotter than the furnace of the world.1 Corinthians 15:16-19 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.I have actually had a Christian associate declare that I was presenting false teaching when I discussed with him the above passage of Scripture (and after he had read my first study in this series, As Silver Is Tried - link below). Even after explaining what Paul meant here, he still would not believe me. Later I found out he had bought into the Prosperity Gospel hook, line, and sinker. While I do not believe it is wrong to be optimistic, I do think that we should remove our rose-coloured glasses and accept what the Bible teaches, instead of what we would like it to say!

If all the faithful child of God had to look forward in this life was the afflictions and trials they daily faced, they would be most miserable indeed! If there was no forgiveness of sins offered through the death, burial, and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, there would be no hope indeed, no hope of entering Heaven (all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and God cannot look upon iniquity – see Isaiah 64:6 and Habakkuk 1:13), and no real purpose for our being set apart from the rest of the ungodly world! Please read this whole section so you do not misunderstand where I am going with this line of thinking.

1 Corinthians 15:29-32 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

As Paul stated above, if this life was all we had then the Christian’s life would be most miserable in comparison with that of the lost. What trials does the Christian bear that the lost do not?

Facing death to proclaim their faith and be baptized (identified) with Christ

Dying to our self daily, crucifying the flesh and resisting the pleasures of sin

Bearing the reproach of Christ, suffering for the sake of righteousness

Endless, wearisome battles with false teachers, apostates; spiritual warfare

Being chastised by the Lord when we walk in sin

Being pruned and purged so we are useful to the Master and bear more fruit

There is a saying that there is a scarlet thread that runs all throughout Scripture – referring to the redemption provided through the blood of Christ. In a similar vein, there is another thread, albeit a dark one, running throughout the Bible: the thread of sufferings and trials for true believers. We see one end of this thread in the book of Genesis, from the death of Abel, to the sufferings of Joseph; it continues on through time to the testing of Job, and the Exodus from Egypt; down further through the corridors of time to the exiles in Assyria and Babylon, and the desecrating of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes; further still to the New Testament church struggling through dire persecutions, on to the tribulation believers facing the Antichrist; and finally, the end of the thread is in sight in the book of Revelation, when we see Jesus returning to conquer the nations of the world and begin His Millenial reign.

Just think how much easier the Apostles’ lives would have been if they were living for themselves, rather than for the Lord. Take Paul’s life, for example:

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

But this life is not all there is! There is Heaven awaiting those who are saved, and rewards for those who are faithful in serving Jesus Christ! If you are a child of God, then you have eternal life and the love of Christ which nothing can separate you from.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Though the furnace of affliction that the Christian faces has been heated seven times hotter, the Lord Jesus Christ still walks with us in the midst of the flames. After all has been said and done, in the light of eternity, I believe the child of God will be able to share the testimony of these three Hebrew men that the fire did no lasting harm to them. Truly, our Heavenly Father only allows into our lives what is in accordance with His perfect will. Like the hymn writer stated, “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.”

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

3) The Outcome Of The Christian’s Trials.Malachi 3:2-3 But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.Job 23:8-10 Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him: But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.“… all precious things have to be tried. You never saw a precious thing yet which did not have a trial. The diamond must be cut; and hard cutting that poor jewel has; were it capable of feeling pain, nothing would be more fretted and worried about, than that diamond. Gold, too, must be tried; it cannot be used as it is dug up from the mine, or in grains as it is found in the rivers; it must pass through the crucible and have the dross taken away. Silver must be tried. In fact all things that are of any value must endure the fire. It is the law of nature. Solomon tells us so in the 17th chapter of Proverbs, the 3rd verse. He says, ‘The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold.’ If you were nothing but tin, there would be no need of the ‘fining-pot’ for you; but it is simply because you are valuable that you must be tried.” (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 1, page 484.)

4) The Christian’s Outlook In Their Trials.

A) Your Refining:1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.B) Your Reminder:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

C) Your Rejoicing:

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

D) Your Reward:

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

E) Your Redeemer’s Return:

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

F) Your Response:

Revelation 3:15-18 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

5) Will You Be Outcast?The Lord rejects those who reject Him and His Word, who reject the salvation and forgiveness of sins that He offers. Reprobate means rejected. Dross is the worthless part of the metal, the impurities that are cast aside.Jeremiah 6:30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Ezekiel 22:17-22 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, the house of Israel is to Me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so I will gather you in Mine anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of My wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out My fury upon you.

Don’t be an outcast. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! (Hebrews 10:31) The hands of judgement are all that those who die without Jesus Christ as their Saviour have to look forward to. It is better to reach now for the hands of mercy! If you have never turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, turn to Him today, trusting in His finished work on the cross of Calvary, believing in His death for your sins, His burial, and His literal, physical resurrection three days later. Turn to Him and let Him purge away the dross of sin in your life and make you a vessel worthy of honour.

Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

I Shall Come Forth As GoldNo longer on the mountaintop, The tempests wax fierce and hot;
Though the way ahead may seem rough, His grace will always be enough -
For when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Chorus:
As gold, as gold, I shall come forth as gold;
As gold, as gold, I shall come forth as gold.
As I walk through the shadow of death, This valley seems to steal my breath;
Though I cannot yet see my way, I will trust in Jesus come what may -
For when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

When storm clouds carry doubt and fear, I will not fret for God is near.
Though I walk through the darkest day, Through faith, my Lord will light my way -
For when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Someday my skies will clear again, The clouds will part – I shall see Him!
Now by faith, but then by sight, I’ll behold my King in all His might -
For when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Poem written June 22nd, 2003
Study written August 6th, 2004
By Jerry (Gerald) Bouey

Part 1 – As Silver Is Tried

As Silver is Tried

The Furnace Of Affliction

Earthen Vessels

Part One – As Silver Is Tried

Jerry Bouey

 

                               

Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Do you feel like you are going through fiery trials? Feel like waves are crashing against your soul? Feel like the storm clouds on the horizon are just getting darker and fiercer? There is a reason for all that the Lord allows into your life, including the troubles and afflictions.

If you are a child of God (through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ), then all that happens in your life – whether good or ill – is for the purpose of making you more Christ-like according to Romans 8:28-29. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

If we understand the general reason why we go through various trials, we will be better equipped to cling to the Lord in the midst of these trying times. The Bible teaches that a believer is like gold or silver that must be tried in a furnace to remove all the dross and blemishes in the metal.

1 Peter 1:6-8 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Malachi 3:2-3 But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Fuller’s soap is a powerful laundering chemical that basically bleaches out the stains and causes the garment to be a brilliant white. A refiner’s fire is a fire that is so hot that it causes any metal being heated upon it to be separated from the dross that is within it. The liquid metal gets heated up, and the impurities rise to the surface, whereupon the silversmith then removes the dross. As more dross is consumed or removed, the refined metal is purer, more precious to the Refiner.

So too, our faith become more precious to the Lord as the impurities in our spiritual lives are removed and the silver of our faith glows stronger. Our faith can only grow as we claim the promises of His Word, and look to Him for strength and comfort through the trials He places (or allows) in our lives.

As the commentators Jamieson, Fausset and Brown state in their comments on Malachi 3:3, “The purifier sits before the crucible, fixing his eye on the metal, and taking care that the fire be not too hot, and keeping the metal in, only until he knows the dross to be completely removed by his seeing his own image reflected (Ro 8:29) in the glowing mass. So the Lord in the case of His elect.”

I know trials and chastisement are not pleasant when we are going through them, but if we lean on the Lord and trust that He knows what He is doing, it will make them that much more bearable. Like the Refiner, knowing exactly how long to refine the silver, so too, the Lord knows exactly how long and in what manner to best refine us and remove our own dross. If we can trust our Heavenly Father with this aspect of our lives, we will not lose sight of our Saviour when the trials do come. If we keep our eyes steadfastly on Jesus, we are promised His perfect peace according to Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.

The Lord doesn’t indiscriminately cause affliction, but when, in His perfect wisdom, He knows it is for our best. (See Lamentations 3:32-33) When our heart has grown cold toward the Lord and the things of God (Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, soul-winning, etc.), sometimes He has to use stronger methods to get our attention. If we have wandered from our walk with the Lord, He will do what it takes to bring us back to Him – even if it means heavy chastisement. To quote my Pastor, “First He speaks, and if we will not listen, then He spanks. If we will not heed His chastisement, then He scourges; and then finally He separates (by death).” God loves His children too much to let them wallow for long in unrepentant sin!

Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

Yes, as Christians, we will go through the waters… Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Praise the Lord that even though we sometimes go through fiery trials, Jesus doesn’t leave us there. We will walk through the waters, through the rivers, and through the fires, but we will not stay in the midst of them! As the Psalmist stated in Psalm 66:8-12 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; Thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

After the trials have achieved their intended purpose, then the Lord will remove them. And we will come forth brighter. Our dross will be consumed more and more with each trial, and we will one day be like Jesus Christ. In God’s perfect wisdom, He knows what He is doing, and in His perfect strength, He has the power to bring His purpose to completion. He will finish the work He has begun in us! Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Job 23:10 But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Don’t fear the trials and afflictions, instead, choose to focus on the Saviour and His purpose. Rest content in the Lord’s perfect plan, and trust yourself to His safekeeping. As our Heavenly Father works out all things in your life, to make you more Christ-like, let Him have His perfect way with you.

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Study written August 14th, 2002.
Jerry (Gerald) Bouey.

Trustin’ Him

Memory Verse: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5,6)

~ Trusting God. Boy, that’s a hard one! Oh, it is easy to say, “Trust God”, but to actually do it is another thing. To fully put my trust in someone else. To trust them completely with every care, concern, need, problem, etc., … everything! That is a hard thing for me to do. I want to be in control of my life. I want to make all of the decisions for the things that will affect me. But do you see a problem here. I want, I want, I want. That is the problem!

I have found that I cannot do things on my own. No matter how hard I try to do things on my own I fail miserably. Instead of trusting in the Lord to get me through things in my life, I fret and worry about the silliest things. Why can’t I learn to just take everything to the Lord and leave it at His feet. He is much more capable of taking care of my problems. The Lord is more than willing to take care of me, if I will just let Him. He loves me! I am His child! Nothing that comes my way is a surprise to Him! He knows everything! Why do I keep forgetting that???

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in you. Not just when things seem to be o.k., but to trust you in everything! You have never led me astray in the past, and I know you won’t in the future. Help me to bring all of my cares to you and to cast them at your feet. Help me to leave them there, and let you take care of them, without grabbing them back to myself again. Help me to rely on you and not on myself. Thank you for loving me, and dying for me! Thank you for caring for me even when I forget about you. In your Holy Name,  Amen!