Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Refiner's Process: Refinement

This is an excerpt from a message given at the Pembroke Fellowship Church Mother/Daughter Banquet in May. To read the first two parts, click on the links below.


The Refiner's Process

The Refiner's Process: Formation


Once a diamond or a precious stone has been mined, it has to be refined. Refinement is defined as: The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. To improve or perfect by pruning or polishing; to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth; elevate.

 
The value of a diamond is determined by the 4C’s--color, clarity, cut and carat.

                               
Color—Diamonds come in every color and shape and so do God’s precious gems. You don’t have to be a size 2 with hair flowing down your back to be beautiful and brilliant. God made each of us beautiful and unique in our own way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 Clarity—The clarity of a diamond is its purity. How many flaws or imperfections are in the stone. We’ve all been marred by sin. Sin clouds us. Sin is impurity. Un-confessed sin blocks intimacy with God. If you’re going to shine, you have to remove the sin from your life.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Refiner's Process: Formation

Part 2 of a message given in May during the Pembroke Fellowship Church Mother/Daughter Banquet.

A gem is a naturally occurring material desirable for its beauty, valuable in its rarity, and
sufficiently durable to give lasting pleasure. Today in gemology, there are four gems or stones that are labeled “precious”: rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphire. The other stones are called semi-precious.

 
The chemical composition determines what kind of gem is produced. For example, a diamond is formed from carbon. Rubies are composed of aluminum, oxygen and chromium. The process that the mineral goes through determines whether you get a precious gem or a rock.

 
You see there’s a difference between a rock and a ruby. There’s a difference between a stone and a sapphire.

 
You don’t just find gems lying on the street. Gems have to be mined and refined. You find gems hidden under ground because they are formed beneath the earth’s surface. Rare gems have to be formed. A jewel has been through a process that makes it valuable. Three things go into that process and they are the same things that go into forming you into God’s precious gem.

 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Searching for God

Her search for love led her to the love of the true and living God

By Latasha Williamson

When I was a little girl, I truly loved the Lord. I would pray every night and every day. I was raised in the church.

 I also genuinely loved people. I can remember meeting people and they would ask me, what do you want to be when you grow up and I would say with a big smile, “Me and my husband are going to go to Africa to save all the starving people.” I was very serious because I believed with all my heart that was my purpose.

As I began to grow, I was very much in tune with the feelings of others. Somehow, I would always know what someone was thinking and if they were sad or happy. It was as if something from the inside of them was speaking to my mind. For a long time, I didn’t know how to handle others feelings and emotions, especially when they were sad, distraught or troubled.

 I had to grow up fast. My parents divorced. My mother found herself a single mother with five children to raise. I was the oldest. At an early age, I had to help raise my sisters, which I felt took away from my childhood. There was a void inside of me that I tried to fill by looking for love in all the wrong places. I tried to fill the void with promiscuity and partying.

 My issues were spiraling out of control. I was having sexual relationships with different men, drinking excessively and partying. My mother and I stayed at odds. My junior year of high school, she sent me to live with my father. My father, who was an ordained pastor,  supported me and began teaching me about God. My deepest desire was to know the one and only living God.

I began a search to find this God that led me down a dangerous road to New Age religion.

When I went to college for my undergraduate degree, I attended church sporadically. Things in my life continued to get worse. By the time I was in graduate school, I stopped attending church all together.  I had decided to forget about Christianity and Jesus. I wanted a new way of life. I wanted to know the one and only living God. I had a big void in my life and I was searching for fulfillment. I just assumed that I tried Jesus and He wasn’t enough.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Refiner's Process



This post is taken from a speaking engagement this May in Bradley, Illinois. The occasion was a Mother/Daughter Banquet hosted by the Pembroke Fellowship Church of Pembroke, Illinois. The theme was Women Reflecting God's Brilliance.

Scripture References:
Revelation 21: 9-11; 22-23
2 Corinthians 4: 7-9; 16-18
Isaiah 48:10
  
Ladies, you’re a gem. Like the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, you are a precious jewel. You’re more precious than rubies. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s masterpiece, his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. You are valuable to God.

As a matter of fact, you’re so valuable and God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you. He loves you so much that He has prepared a place for you. He loves you so much that He wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you. He has counted every hair on your head and bottled every tear that you have cried. He loves you so much that he has plans and a purpose for you. Plans to prosper you and to give you a future and a hope.

But to be the jewel that you are, God, Our Refiner, has to put you through the process. To make you shine, like you were designed to shine, you have to be formed and fashioned, made and molded. 

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