Running With Mark 3

Day Three – December 31, 2019 


Read: Malachi 3:1-7

Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.  It was written around the fifth century before Christ. The Jewish people of the nation of Judah had returned from their exile in Babylon.  But life in their homeland hasn’t lived up to their expectations. They had rebuilt the temple, which was a big and challenging project. God had promised to return to Zion to and to dwell in the temple, but as far as they can see, God hasn’t shown up yet.

Not only that, the very people who were doing evil things, seemed to be getting ahead.  So where is the God of Justice? Why isn’t God striking down the wicked?

Malachi, whose name means “messenger”, has a word for them.  “You have wearied the Lord with your words”. The people had been complaining and frankly, God is tired of hearing them whine!  But get ready, because the message they are going to get from Malachi is not the one they expect! Instead of raining down judgement on those they thought should be judged, Malachi points the finger right at them!

Have you heard of Fuller’s Soap?  Before Tide or Stainsticks there was Fuller’s soap.  To “full” meant to whiten. So a fuller was a launderer, someone who restored the whiteness to cloth.  

A “refiner’s fire” was used to purify metals.  When refining metal, the metal is melted over a super hot fire.  As it melts, the pure metals, like gold or silver, remain at the bottom.  But the impurities, the waste, which is called “dross” floats to the top where it is scooped out and thrown away.  

So how does the refiner know when the refining is done?  How do they know when all that bad stuff has been removed?  It is said that the refiner knows when all the bad stuff has been removed, when he or she can see their reflection in the pure metal.  

That’s a great image for what God can do in us – remove the junk, the garbage, the mess, the sin, until it is God’s image that is reflected in us.  As we approach the new year, many of us will make resolutions. What if we resolved to every day turn our lives over to God, that God would refine us, purify us and mold us.  

Charles Wesley wrote the hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”.  Here are the words to verse four:

Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be:
let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory, ’til in heav’n we take our place,
’til we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Chandler D. Moore is a singer, songwriter and worship leader from Charleston, North Carolina. He wrote “Refiner.”  The worship style in this song is different from the way we tend to worship. It is freer, more open to emotion and feeling.  I wonder what progressive Christians could learn from worship like this?

Take my life as a sacrifice, I wanna burn for You, only for You
Clean my hand.  Purify my heart
I wanna burn for You


Prayer Focus:

Talk to God about the junk, the mess, the sin (or whatever language works for you) in your life.  


Music based on this Scripture:

Love Divine All Loves Excelling Hymn by Charles Wesley

Refiner by Chandler D. Moore and Steffany Gretzinger.  


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins