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Forged in the Fire

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Sometimes life can be hard, but the hard times in life are what build character and refine us to purity. These times, though hard can be a blessing becasue of the promised hope they bring. This message looks at being shaped and formed by God, though not a painless process.

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Scripture

Luke 22:24–34 ESV
A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
Luke 22:24-

Testimony

I was sitting with my daughter Hailey getting ready for this message. She sat in my lap with her bible as we read together. She would repeat the words as we read as if she was reading. And I just sat and enjoyed that time with her, and I began to think… I wonder how much of this she will remember.
Think back to what you remember? What is your earliest childhood memory?
Many of you know my testimony of how I came to Christ.
few know the events leading up to that night because normally that’s where I start it. The full version is a bit longer.
So, Hi I’m Ryan. I was born September 1989 in San Antonio, Texas. I am the oldest child of Ann and Rod.
I still have memories of Texas and our house. I remember my room, that was blue with my bunk bed and ceiling fan and baseball wall paper trim that went around the entire upper wall.
I remember when I was 5 my dad got a new job and it was going to require us to move to Colorado
I hated the idea of moving. So much I would go out to the real-estate sign and take the flyers and hide them in my pillow case.
Nonetheless my efforts were futile and we ended up moving. We got in to what seemed to me at the time to be the biggest yellow truck ever and moved to Conifer, Colorado. In the mountains.
I feared that we were going to fall off the mountain.
I quickly realized that life was great. We had this white stuff called snow, that you could put a plastic thing on and instantly there was a slide you could speed down a hill on. In the summer my Dad and I went camping on the deck.
But the most life changing event I can remember from that time is when I walked inside from playing outside, and seeing my dad sitting at the table crying. My mom told me to go upstairs.
I walked inside from playing out side, and seeing my dad sitting at the table crying. My mom told me to go upstairs.
Shortly later my Mom came upstairs and told me that they were going to be getting a divorce.
I did not know what that meant, except my mom told me that they would not be living together any more.
We were going to be moving again.
Really, what I got out of it, is mommy and daddy are still going to be friends and I get to have Christmas twice...
At 8 years old My dad bought a house at Saint Mary’s Glacier. North West of Idaho Springs. A mountain town nestled in the rockies. We decided to move in during the winter. Keep in mind this house is at 10,000 ft above sea level… in the winter… we’re talking 30-40 mph winds all the time with micro burst up to 120 mph. And snow.... lots and lots of snow....
That summer is when I meet Jimmy, on Memorial day. He was trying to find me to hag out because i was riding around on a dirt bike. and Him and another kid were riding around on bicycles.
I told them about free hot dogs and that was it. we had our first sleep over that night and he soon became my best friend. It was the making of a friendship that is still going over 20 years. I consider him a brother.
Endless summers and adventures. When I was in 7th grade my dad broke his neck. He worked at a mine
Almost died from a staff infection
Any way. It was the start of WC Construction. And what better place to get cheap labor than from two kids who will clear a forest for nothing more than paint balls and slingshots.
But something else was happening at this time. Remember I had two lives now. The mountain life with my dad. And the city life in Longmont with my mom.
I was being raised Catholic. I had gone through catechism. Kind of like Sunday school and such, but at the end, around 8th grade you go through what is called conformation. At the end you get confirmed into the catholic faith.
But one Wednesday night catechism something different happened. Instead of learning about bible stories or the sacraments. The priest came in to do a question and answer session.
I was excited because I had recently started reading my Bible, and having discussions with Jimmy and I had some questions
I asked, “the bible says there is one mediator between God and man and that is the man Christ Jesus. so why do we have go to you to have our sins forgiven..... ?”
needless to say I got in trouble and I told my mom I did not want to be a catholic, something seems off......
she said as long as I was going to some church.
h. My first confrontation with my dad on alcohol.
J. Let us eat drink and be merry.
I. Eventually I was struggling with this double lifestyle. I wanted to be a christian, or as i called it at that time a “Super Christian” or Straight arrow. as others said.
I struggled with different sin issues during that time, that I was dealing with and I though if I can just move up to the glacier. all of these things will go away.
Dare to share conference.
Evangelistic version of Aquire the fire.
I decided I wanted to share my faith and learn more. Still rooted in sin, I came up with a way to convince my mom I needed to move in with my dad. A house full of rules and structure to a house filled with alcohol and much less structure.....
I spent my sophomore year of High school going to school At Clear Creek. I went to bible studies at a small refuge called the rock house. But eventually my good friend was moving away.
So the majority of my time was spent alone on a mountain. I had no friends, no christian roots. The rock house was full of other christians who compromised. At the motocross track, the same. So slowly my sin that I was trying to flee started to grow bigger and soon I found myself at a cross roads where I eventual decided I was not going to follow Christ.
I denied him just like peter.
Matthew 26:34 ESV
Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
Matthew 26:69–75 ESV
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Peter
Matthew 26:69–71 ESV
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
Matthew 26:69 ESV
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.”
I had made pledge to go saying that I would never do it. And through a tear-full conversation I called up Jimmy and told him that I was not going to be a christian. I quoted Revelation, in some sort of justification for my actions I said.
Matthew 26:
I had made pledge to go saying that I would never do it. And through a tear-full conversation I called up Jimmy and told him that I was not going to be a christian. I quoted Revelation, in some sort of justification for my actions I said.
Revelation 3:16 ESV
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
My rooster had crowed, I knew what I had done. Through sorrow had pain I denied my lord, and justified it with deception. I decided that if I was not going to be a hot Christian, then I was not going to be a christian at all. and some what hope that once saved always saved was true....
From that point until The night out side Razzles I indulged in what the world had to offer.
2. What I learned but did not realize at the time is that
Sin is a heart issue. not a location issue.
I thought the unresolved sin in my life would be taken care of by moving where I saw there was a foundation in christ.
Sin is a heart issue , No matter how good your friends are or your “Role models are, they are not a substation for dealing with your sin.
and eventually that sin will become more and more prevalent. And what you thought you had victory in by a move will come back with vengeance.
Changing your location is not a solution to your sin.
if you are lonely, chances are you are going to be lonely when you go some were els
if your sin is pornography, or loneliness, marriage is not going to fix that issue.
Why do you think people get married, waht are the top reasions?
A article by the huffington post lists the following:
The next logical step. We’ve lived together? Isn't that what you are suppose do do?
A jump start to love. We were once in love but now were not so let’s get married to fix it.
a desire to grow up or maturity
Monetary and structured reasons, goes along with:
Fear of being alone.
Wish full thinking: If i get married he has to grow up, Hell cut back on the booze and the crazy life. He has to because of Love
Security: Its good to have a backup income if I get laid off
A baby on the way.
Pressure, Society says you need to get married. All your friend are married Shouldn't I be?
The clock is ticking, better get a husband before the eggs run out,.
These changes are temporal and temporary, only to last for a little while
For a time the problem may be tamed, or put in the heart but the roots still exist and at some point in that marriage they are going to become prevalent, and likely worse than if they had been dealt with before hand.

The Fire.

Forged Steel
In order to make forged steel, the metal can either be kept at room temperature or heated to high temperatures. The higher the temperature, the easier it is for the metal to take shape and less likely to crack.
Resolving something with God takes bringing the issue before God. Dealing with it before him. Not hiding it and trying to change the circumstances.
SIGNIFICANCE
The bonus of forged steel is that the metal becomes stronger than equivalent types that are cast or machined. The pressure that compresses the steel makes the grains within the steel deform as they are forced together.
Resolving something with God takes bringing the issue before God. Dealing with it before him. Not hiding it and trying to change the circumstances.
Godly values. Godly Character; Cannot be forced, they must be forged by the trials of the fire.
IF we stand in the fire, and allow our selves to be profied we will see,
godliness, holyness liv
Fleeing the Fire early, will produce a unfinished or cracked product.
Moving to a place of comfort will not produce Godly character, only make it more difficult to be shaped.
and finding some one to put in the place of God, will never be a substitute for God
IT will be a substitute of a sinful heart, that never became forged by the Living God.
Another way to look at it is a refining
Malachi 2:17–3:6 ESV
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi 2:
A. Two ways to look at this passage. A word of Warning and a Word of Hope.
Malachi 3:2 ESV
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
what is fullers’ soap
Fuller [N] [S]
The word "full" is from the Anglo-Saxon fullian, meaning "to whiten." To full is to press or scour cloth in a mill. This art is one of great antiquity. Mention is made of "fuller's soap" ( ), and of "the fuller's field" ( ). At his transfiguration our Lord's rainment is said to have been white "so as no fuller on earth could white them" ( ). En-rogel (q.v.), meaning literally "foot-fountain," has been interpreted as the "fuller's fountain," because there the fullers trod the cloth with their feet.
Refiners Fire
It does not say that this is a forest fire or incinerator that destroys everything in its path. Much like the fires in California right now, where the fire indiscriminately destroys everything
It is a refiners fire. It does not consume or destroy everything. BUT IT DOES SAY FIRE!
Smelting is a process for purifying gold or silver.
It takes the ore and gets it extremely hot and the gold stays at the bottom and the impurities rise to the surface and they are skimmed off.
Standing in the trials of life does mean to be in the fire. Purity and Holiness will not be a pleasant thing. It is not an easy thing. I don’t think I would have ever said to God, “Get rid of my old friends, have them mock me”, Take my Dad away, or “give me a Lawsuit” or take my “unborn child”. Or any of the other trials my wife and I have gone through.
Just like you tell a Kid, do not play with fire or you will get burned. Being put through the fire is a waring, it is not a easy process, but it is necessary.
Remember it is a refiners fire, not an incinerator.
So it is also a word of Hope. Know that what is produced from that fire will bring purity and holiness. Though there may be much fear and trembling in the process of becoming pure.
It is a beacon of hope that will bring you closer to our God in ways you never knew.
When there is nothing else to do, he is all you can cling to.

Why must he be like a Refining Fire.

The First is “I”, in the “Behold I send”. It refers to God the father. Jehova.
Simple answer is we need to be refined.
We were born in iniquity and in sin did our mothers conceive us.
The Second is Gods Messenger who prepars the way.
IT refers to John the Baptist. The New testiment quoes this verry vers in; , and
We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The heart is deceitfully wicked and who could know it.
D. with out christ, Man is impure by nature and by practice.
Malachi 4:5 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
D. He is coming back for a bride with out spot or blemish.
i. A refiners fire will make us pure, able to walk Holy with our God.
6. But why a refiners fire and not an incinerator?
Look at vs 6.
Malachi 3:6 ESV
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi
Take this verse with what is written in the opening chapter of Malachi
Malachi 1:2-
Malachi 1:2–5 ESV
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’ ” Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
God starts out with saying I have loved you...
We know He says I have loved you, and The Lord does not change, and it is through the blood of Jesus Christ, we as Christians are able to go through the refining fire without being consumed.
Much like Shadrack Meshack and Abendigo, and King Nebikenezer. He threw them into the furnace, or incinerator.
He said to get it 7 times hotter than it had ever been
and the 3 went in, but when they looked in there was a 4th who looked like the son of man. And they came out of the fire with out even the scent of smoke.
Not Everyone will be refined some will be consumed.
Malachi 3:5 ESV
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
This is not the work of refinement, but the Final Judgement of condemnation.
Malachi 4:1 ESV
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
Malachi
So How can we be sure to experience the fire of God as refining and not consuming?
well, the answer is not getting rid of your own sin.
It is not changing your circumstances
The answer is not finding hope in others.
For if any of these things were the answer, you would not need any refining.
Refining burns up the sin, the impurities that lie within the heart.

The Answer?

Trust in the purifying mercy of God.
Or as Malachi puts it over and over: Fear God
Fear to dishonor him with unbelief.
Fear irreverent distrust.
Fear the impulse to jump out of the refining fire into the forest fire because it looks cooler for a time.
Don’t doubt the one who is Forgiving you. Don’t doubt the refiner.
Life in the Refining fire
A life in the fire is having a life of confidence in God.
A. A Life in the fire is having a life of confidence in God.
The foundation of our confidence is the promise.
our fire is for forging us into Godly living, our refinement is to walk spotless and blameless before our God.
3. There is no painless path to heavens gates.
1 Peter 1:6–7 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 peter 6:
1 peter
Jesus said,
James 1:2–4 ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Heberes
Stand in the fire though it may be hard. Allow God to Forge your character, had refine your heart. Trust him, obey, and do not waver from his path.
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