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These Daily Reflections supply the messages from Grace Church as daily video clips from the most recent sermons. Each day's clip will last about 10 minutes and if you watch them all, you will have reviewed morning and evening sermons from the previous Sunday.

Ministry Reflection - June 20, 2009

What’s Really in Your Heart?: Proverbs 4:23

Second, Scripture tells us the same thing: Our actions will show whether we love God more than other things. Trials and temptations are meant to show us this very thing. They put our love to the test. The Lord gives us a choice: either Him or sin, either obedience to His commandment or disobedience, either difficulty if we say or do the right thing or no difficulty if we don’t, where if we take hold of one we have to let go of the other, and then He waits to see what we choose. This is what the Lord did to Israel: “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deu. 8:2). “I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not” (Judges 2:21-22).

This is what the what the Lord does to us: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7; cf. James 1:2-3). The Lord tries us as gold or silver is tried in the furnace (Ps. 66:10-11) to see if what looks like gold is really gold. When gold is heated in the furnace, it’s purified and its real beauty is seen. The same is true of genuine faith. When it is tried, it shows itself to be genuine: Job said during his trials, “But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

And remember, when the Lord does this, He does it for our benefit, not for His. He already knows what’s in our hearts. He tries us so that we will know. Shepard writes, “I am persuaded, as Calvin is, that all the several trials of men, are to show them to themselves, and to the world, that they be but counterfeits; and to make saints known to themselves the better.—Rom. v. 5. Tribulation works trial, and that hope. Prov. xvii. 3. If you will know whether it will hold weight, the trial will tell you” (Parable, 1:191). When He tried Israel through their difficulties, it was so they would know whether they would keep His commandments. When He tried Abraham by commanding him to offer his son, it was that Abraham might know the condition of his heart and know whether or not God had been gracious and merciful to him. Jesus did the same thing to the rich young ruler when He told him the price of salvation was the loss of all he had on earth (Matt. 19:16).

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