Listen to today’s devo!

For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8)

Left alone, stones are dead and lifeless.

Several Christmases ago, we bought our then-eleven-year-old son a rock tumbler. He collected various rocks and began the process of refining them. The procedure is simple: Put rocks, grit, and water in the tumbler and rotate them for weeks at a time. Coarse grit is used in the beginning stage, and every other week, you change it out and move to a finer grit. The grit shapes and smooths the rocks; as you move to a finer grit, cracks and grooves begin to disappear. Finally, the finest grit brings out the color, shine, and beauty of the rocks. My son had many beautiful rocks and made me beautiful earrings that resulted from the refining process.

John the Baptist preached both salvation and judgment. He wanted people to understand what the baptism he offered was really about. Those who came and accepted it needed to do so with reflection and clarity. They could not rely on their ancestors—just as we cannot rely on our family connections to the church.

No matter who you are, the offer of salvation has to be combined with belief and repentance, much like grit and water. When the heart is refined and changed, beauty will emerge as God takes what is dead and lifeless in us and refines it for his glory.

Ask God to reveal an area in your life that needs refining.

Nancy Pike is the director of creative arts and congregational care at LifeSpring Church. She recently completed a masters of pastoral ministry at Wesley Seminary.

© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.