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Remove the dross

Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith.” Proverbs 25:4, NASB

Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice.” Proverbs 25:4, Message Bible

First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:26, NIV

Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.” Matthew 23:26, Message Bible

The good news is this: “If a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, Phillips).

If you are a new creature and your sin nature is gone, then two questions come up: 1.) Why do you still get tempted to sin? 2.) Why should you even be concerned about sin if everything has been covered by the sacrifice of Jesus?

To answer the first question, in Christ you are forgiven and your past is washed clean. Yet you have this thing called a soul, made up of your mind, will, and emotions. Although your soul is eternal, it was not recreated like your spirit was when you received Christ, and therefore is liable to make wrong choices. Your mind is to be renewed (see Romans 12:2) and your soul is to be saved by receiving God’s Word with a humble heart (see James 1:21). Philippians 2:12-13 says that you are to work out your salvation with fear and trembling; the good news is that God works inside you to help you to be willing to obey Him.

Why should you be concerned about sin? The Apostle Paul asked the same question. “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?” (Romans 6:1, NLT.) You can almost hear the apostle blowing a gasket as he answers his own question in verse 2, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (NASB.)

Your actions, thoughts, and words build your life. They also affect everyone around you, for good or for ill. You are accountable for the choices you make, the words you speak, and the thoughts you think. But because of your faith in Christ, the God to whom you will give an account is the same One who works within you both to will and to work for His good pleasure! He has rigged life in your favor! Only a mindset of rebellion, apathy, or self-importance on your part can gum up the flow of His wonderful grace on your life. If these attitudes arise within you, God is still present; He has not ceased to love you, and He will be ever-ready to work kindly within you to bring about repentance and change in your heart. Help with these destructive mindsets is just a prayer away.

Why exert so much attention on the topic of personal accountability when the world is spinning out of control? Perhaps if more attention had been paid to this subject, our world would not be in its current disastrous condition .

At the beginning of today’s entry the proverb states, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith.”  Impurities in silver decrease its reflective properties. Unconfessed sin in your life decreases your ability to reflect the Lord to a hurting world around you. Unchecked rebellion, apathy, or self-importance will block the clear leading of the Holy Spirit when you need it the most. As ungodly attitudes remain in your heart, they become weights to you, and life becomes burdensome, the call of Christ grows more and more faint, and the light that is in you becomes dim, hidden under a pile of flesh and unrestrained soul.

However, if you become aware of “dross” in your life, simply yield it to the Silversmith, and He will gladly remove it from you.

You were created in Christ Jesus to be a vessel for honorable use. Let God take away any dross cropping up in you, for it’s time for you to shine. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, KJV).

Let nothing cloud your light any longer!