Wednesday, December 1, 2021
In yesterday’s devotions we called forgiveness a multi-faceted gem. I like to think of that gem as a diamond, the world’s most precious of all gems. The formation of diamonds is a fascinating process. According to science, the carbon that makes diamonds comes from the melting of pre-existing rocks in the Earth’s upper mantle. There is an abundance of carbon atoms in the mantle. Temperature changes in the upper mantle forces the carbon atoms to go deeper where they melt and become new rock when the temperature reduces. If other conditions like pressure and chemistry are right then the carbon atoms in the melting crustal rock bond to build diamond crystals.
Diamonds are nothing more than carbon that was in the form of crusty rock that has been forced way down, melted by intense heat, put under excruciating pressure, and then pushed up toward the surface again. Once discovered, they have no visible relationship to the crusty rock they once were, yet their chemical foundation is the same. Instead of being all black and bumpy, they are crystal clear and able to be cut to a perfectly smooth finish.
Compare that to what happens in the growth process of a maturing Christian. At the moment of our salvation we were lavished upon with the love of God so that we became his children. God’s love forgave us and restored us. Love became the foundation, or the basic chemical compound of our existence. However, we looked and acted pretty crusty in those early days of our spiritual journeys. Pride interfered with God’s love in a variety of ways. But God knew how to bring out the brilliance of His love in us. He led us into situations where we would be forced to put self to death. He melted our selfish hearts so that they could be reformed in the image of His love. This process was excruciatingly painful and stressful, but it allowed the purity of love to finally be seen in us. Once visible, the Master Gemologist carefully plans and then cuts at just the right place so that the total beauty and brilliance of His love is visible to everyone.
Here’s what God’s Word says about the love of a mature Christian.
Ephesians 5:1-2a “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us.”
1 John 3:1-2 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
God’s magnificent love provides all that is necessary for the multi-faceted gem of forgiveness to be formed. By His love we are forgiven, made His children, and empowered to reflect that love to others. Each one of us is being exposed to the purifying fire and pressure of God’s discipline so that we will be able to love others as we are loved by God. Do not get discouraged with the process. Do not ask to be relieved from the pressure too soon. Let God complete His work in you. When He does, you will be the most precious of all the gems of humanity. You will be a child of God who reflects the love of God. The world will see it and will know that you are God’s.