Proverbs 17:3 –The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. (KJV)
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart. (NLT)
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold:
Prov.26:2> Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
(“An undeserved curse does not come to rest”means that it has no effect.)
Prov.27:21>Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.
focus point – (praise tests a person, just as high temperatures test metal. How does praise affect you? Do you work to get it? Do you work harder after you’ve gotten it? Your attitude toward praise tells a lot about your character. People of high integrity are not swayed by praise. They are attuned to their inner convictions, and they do what they do what they should whether or not they are praised for it.)
Jer.17:10> But I, the LORD, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
focus point – I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.” God makes it clear why we sin – it’s a matter of the heart. Our hearts have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue in sin. We can yield to a specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.
Matt.3:3>The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’
focus point – John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. People who do not know Jesus need to be prepared to meet him. We can prepare them by explaining their need for forgiveness, demonstrating Christ’s teachings by our conduct, and telling them how Christ can give their lives meaning. We can “make straight paths for him ” by correcting misconceptions that might be hindering people from approaching Christ. Someone you know may be open to a relationship with Christ. What can you do to prepare the way for this person?
[Psa 17: NLT]
A prayer of David.
O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips. Declare me innocent, for you see those who do right. You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me. They are without pity. Listen to their boasting! They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground. They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush. Arise, O LORD! Stand against them, and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword! By the power of your hand, O LORD, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants. Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.