Transformation Garden - April 18, 2016

April 18

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“You will not abandon me…You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalm 16: 10-.11
Amplified Bible

“Lord, it is not life to live,
If Thy presence Thou deny;
Lord, if Thou Thy presence give,
‘Tis no longer death to die.
Source and giver of repose,
Singly from Thy smile it flows;
Peace and happiness are Thine;
Mine they are, if Thou art mine.”

A. M.Toplady

Today’s Study Texts:

Text 1: “Therefore if any person is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation; the old spirit condition has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

II Corinthians 5: 17
Amplified Bible

Text 2: “The wall was built of jasper, while the city itself was of pure gold, clear and transparent like glass.”

Revelation 21: 18
Amplified Bible


“The Furnace of Affliction: - Part 15

“Where Gold Touches Jasper”

“Just as a fire consumes every physical thing that is combustible, just so the love of God burns and consumes all sin and dross from the soul, refining and purifying it, like an intense fire purifying metal.”

Walter Helton
Toward A Perfect Love

As I have walked through times of affliction, have I thought that God is “purifying” my life?

Is there something in my life which serves as a “touchstone,” reminding me of the purity God longs for me to have in my life?

“Make and keep me pure within.”

Charles Wesley


“Still to the lowly soul
He doth Himself impart,
And for His dwelling
and His throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.

“Lord, we Thy presence seek;
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and lowly heart,
A temple meet for Thee.”

John Keble

It seemed a little strange to read in the first chapter of the book of Daniel that “the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into (Nebuchadnezzar’s) hand.” This Babylonian king actually became an instrument in the hands of God. But it wasn’t just Jehoiakim who we find God allowed to be punished. In the passage found in Daniel 1: 2 we find that God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to carry off “part of the vessels from the house of God.” What makes this such a tragic act is that the heathen king took these sacred vessels and displayed them in the house of his god, in the treasury of his god.”

I’m certain that nothing could have been as difficult as the four Hebrew young men seeing the vessels that were “sacred” unto their God, Jehovah, become “booty” for a god conceived my man. In fact, last week, I made the comment in one devotional that as the four Hebrew lads gazed upon the gold vessels that they most-likely had seen back home in God’s Temple in Jerusalem, they must have felt as if these treasures were a “touchstone” carrying a message from their homeland and from their God.

Honestly, I’ve used the word “touchstone” on more than one occasion, thinking it to be a reminder that draws our attention to something special, potentially something tremendously valuable.

Having used this word, “touchstone,” I decided that some digging was due in the Garden and just like God’s Word, when we take time to read and study, we always uncover some of the most amazing nuggets of truth.

Desiring to get better acquainted with the word “touchstone,” I went to Webster’s Dictionary to check out the definition which is: “A hard black stone, as jasper or basalt once used to test the quality of gold or silver by comparing the streak left on the stone by one of the metals with that of a standard alloy.” With a little more digging, I unearthed the fact that rubbing gold on jasper tests the purity of the gold.

This information got me to thinking about the two words “jasper and gold.” I asked myself, “Where have I read about jasper and gold?” Suddenly, it hit me like a bolt of lightening and I grabbed my study Bible and turned to the book of Revelation – the very last book in the Bible.

At the time the Apostle John wrote this book he was alone and seemingly abandoned on a small island called Patmos, off the coast of Greece. While living in his own fiery furnace, the “disciple that Jesus loved,” as John often called himself, was given a prophetic vision of history down through time, right until the return of Jesus, the Lamb for sinners slain. It took me a few minutes to find what I was looking for. And it is a place where gold touches jasper. The Apostle John, in describing the New Jerusalem, has this to say: “The wall was built of jasper while the city itself was of pure gold, clear and transparent like glass” (Revelation 21: 18, Amplified Bible).

Truthfully, I had to roll this whole thought around in my mind for several weeks. But I’ve come to believe that the way we have, in the past, tested the purity of gold by rubbing it against jasper was a technique not lost on our heavenly Father.

Thus, in the breath-taking eternal City of God, John writes that, “the wall was built of jasper while the city itself was of pure gold, clear and transparent like glass” (Daniel 21: 18, AMP). Pure gold finally meets jasper and it doesn’t need to be “tested” because it is perfectly perfected, or as the dictionary defines “perfected”  - “Complete, lacking nothing, flawless.”

You know what, there’s something else the Apostle John wanted his readers to know. Not only are the streets of that city pure gold, but so are the people who enter into the city for as John writes: “Nothing that defiles, or profanes, or is unwashed shall ever enter (the city)” (Revelation 21: 27, AMP).

There is probably no one in the Bible who longed to have purity fill his heart and his life like the Psalmist David. As he prayed in Psalm 26: 2, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, test my heart and my mind.” It was as if David was asking God to “test me like gold against jasper.

I’ll be the first to admit that the refining process is tough. Sometimes the heat is too much. As God told the prophet Isaiah about His children, “I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried thee in the ‘furnace of affliction’”(Isaiah 48: 10, AMP). If today you find yourself being purified in the furnace of affliction, I encourage you to remember that our Father is just getting you ready to walk in that heavenly city where the purest gold meets the jasper and there are absolutely no impurities to be revealed for God’s children, by His grace and mercy are as pure as those streets on which they walk.

Many years ago I found a CD by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir which contained a song that I wanted to use sometime. It’s entitled “God Is Able.” After spending time with the Hebrew men in Babylon, all I can think of to say is “Hallelujah!” Our God is able to keep us as we walk through the fire of affliction and become as pure as gold. In the words of the Apostle Paul to his son in Christ: “And this is why I am suffering as I do. Still I am not ashamed, for I know and am acquainted with Him Whom I have believed and trusted in and I am positively persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed to Him until that day” (II Timothy 1: 12, AMP).

“Our way to heaven lies through the wilderness of this world…Earth is embittered to us, that heaven may be endeared.”

Matthew Henry


God Is Able

“God is able, God is able,
To deliver, from the fire;
He will rescue, those who serve Him
When the flames are burning higher.

The decree came down to all the land,
to the people in the King’s command;
Bow down to the dusty ground,
When they heard the trumpet sound.
But the children of God refused to kneel
They defied the King with a fiery zeal;
They were thrown in the flame that day
But you could hear the children say.

God is able, God is able,
To deliver, from the fire;
He will rescue, those who serve Him
When the flames are burning higher.

Don’t you know that things never change,
And our fiery trials are still the same
The saints of God must face the test
But you can stand above the rest
Take courage, friend, and walk on through
The Lord will face the fire with you
Stand with the saints and say –
‘My God will provide a way.’
God is able, God is able,

To deliver, from the fire;
He will rescue, those who serve Him
When the flames are burning higher.
God is able!”

Chris Machen and
Robert Sterling

“God Is Able” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

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