Winnowed and Sifted

winnowing

Be sure to watch videos at end for moving sermon and beautiful music ~STL

“Winnowed and Sifted”

Sandra T. Lloyd

4-16-13

On the wings of the morning He quietly comes
Lighting nearby, patiently waiting

Dis-ordered thoughts begin to wander
Soon upon waking, toward tasks ahead

Spirit is tethered, grounded by gravity.
For life itself is very grave

Every struggle becomes a link
In the chain, growing heavy

And still He waits.   I know He is near
And then He speaks: “Why do you carry these?”

So as not to leave them littered along the way

How long have you carried them?

My, I couldn’t say.  Some of them are so old I feel they’ve always been there.

What good are they?

Sifting

Ben Sternke bnsternke.com

Good? What do you mean?

Why did you not lay them down?

I thought I was meant to keep them.

But why would you think that?

Well, they bear my name

Are you certain?

Last I checked!

Checked lately?

Well, no, but I count them pretty often

What on Earth for?

A habit by now, I suppose. Keeps me humble.

Humble?

You know!  Grounded!

Oh, I get it, restrained, repressed?

Yeah, something like that, I guess.  I mean, it feels like that sometimes.

Why would you want that?

I don’t want to be.  I just have been for just about as far back  as I can remember.

As far back as you can remember, or as far back as you dare to remember?

What’s the difference?

The difference is, I created you for more than this. You knew that once upon a time!

Yes, I know.  “Someday” I’ll be free from this sin nature and…

No, even now! Cast thy burden upon Me, and I shall sustain you.

Yeah.  I read that.

And?

I don’t deserve for You to carry my load

That’s true!

<shrugs, eyes downcast>

Look at Me! Do you see anyone here who condemns you?

I condemn me!

Ah!
I see.
Do you know what the word “deem” means?

To reckon something as being so?

That is pretty close, but more succinctly, it means “to judge”.
Do you know what redeemed means?

I guess that would mean “to judge again”?

You were deemed guilty but once you repented and asked for salvation, you were re-deemed to be “not guilty”.  Do you know that being “not guilty” is not the equivalent of being innocent?  “Not guilty” merely means that no punishment will be accounted to you for the crime.  As I said to Job, “I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.  Wilt thou also dis-annul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” I have declared you “not guilty”, yet you persist in self-condemnation. Who is right, Me or you?
You are, Lord

Where is your Bible?

Right here.

Open it to John 8:36 and read to Me what it says.

If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, then ye shall be free indeed. I know, Lord, but…

I don’t see a but in that verse.

Ok.  What about everything else?

What else?

Our life seems like an endless series of “unfortunate events”, trials, setbacks, obstacles, whatever you want to call them!  It feels so relentless.  What are we doing wrong?

These “other things” you speak of, the trials, who has told you that they come due to something you are doing wrong? These things are so, that My works might be displayed in you. (John 9:3)  In my winnowing I separate wheat from chaff, using the wind of adversity to blow off the chaff, which is just an impurity, and retaining in you that which is good. On the other hand, Satan desires to sift you! (Luke 22:31)  Sifting is agitating in a way that shakes out all that is good, so that the only thing that remains is the bad.  He doesn’t touch your life without my permission.  What he means for evil, I use for your good.

I have prayed for you.  Right now, chaff fills the air, the shaking and the tossing feel turbulent, but trust Me.  I will complete the good work which I have begun in you.

Jesus prays for His own

*

Sermon: Pastor John Reynolds, Temple Baptist Church (30 min)

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