This past week I had the privilege of receiving a sermon from the front row of the church instead of sharing a sermon from the platform. My friend, Jerry, challenged our faith family during his message in the area of drawing closer to the Son, Jesus Christ. One of his primary points involved the illustration that when any object draws closer and closer to the sun, the heat and pressure from the sun has a purifying quality. Jerry beautifully pointed out that this is also true for when you and I draw closer and closer to Jesus. The process of our sanctification or “becoming more like Jesus”, in large part, has to do with us having less and less of the unnecessary “slag” or waste in our lives. Although we often think the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly is the only type of metamorphosis, I was reminded this past weekend that all too often the transformations in our lives are more like a refining fire of heat and pressure than they are of a quiet and cozy change within a safe cocoon. Friends, this week I challenge you to look at the pressure, heat, and fire around you not as something that is going to destroy you, but that you would see it as the resources God is using to make you into who He exactly wants and needs you to be for your benefit and His glory. Stay Close To Jesus. – Pastor Bryce