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Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough

Most of us are familiar with the unique place near Murfreesboro called “Crater of Diamonds State Park". This place was a functioning diamond mine many years ago. But over time, the amount of precious stones excavated became so small that it was no longer good business to keep the mine open. Eventually, the mine was sold to the State, became a park, and was opened to the public. Now, for an admission price, you can dig for diamonds in the mine field and keep whatever you find. This park is visited by people from all over the world, who go in search of precious stones. There are some who find diamonds, but most return home having found only common rocks.

One reason for this is because they have the wrong idea of what a diamond in the rough looks like. People look for a shining stone similar to that on an engagement ring. However, diamonds in the rough appear ordinary and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors—just like people. And like people, diamonds in the rough are not what they could become—beautiful stones, reflecting light to the world.

For this reason, we can learn a lot from the diamond. And we can look at each other with more love and respect, if we consider the fact, that we are all diamonds in the rough.

1Pet 2:4-5 As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Peter says, that Jesus is a living stone rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious. He also says that we are living stones, and we are precious to God, too, because of what Jesus has done for us. We are being used to build a spiritual house—God’s Church—holy, set apart for Him.

A diamond starts out as a common chunk of coal, not worth much of anything except for the fire. Only if a tremendous amount of pressure is applied, can coal become a diamond. As we look at one another, we appear common and ordinary, but God sees something different. God sees something precious in each one who accepts Jesus as their Savior. God sees the finished product, but He is going to apply some pressure, called conviction and discipline, to change us into a precious stone.

The day we ask Jesus into our heart, a miracle happens even more wonderful than a chunk of coal turning into a diamond over time. We become a stone in God’s spiritual house, a living stone that will never die again—a living stone that rests upon a corner stone, named Jesus Christ the Lord. There is no greater Name.

No matter how righteous we think we are, we can never be good enough to come into the presence of God without the Name of Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become a precious stone in the eyes of God. It’s nothing that we have done; it's all what Jesus did for us.

What does it take to make a piece of coal into something that becomes precious? It takes pressure and cutting away at its deformities. Likewise, after we become a precious stone, we still must go through some cutting to enable us to reflect the light of Jesus. So after salvation, the Holy Spirit, begins to cut away the rough edges to make us more valuable, reflecting the light and character of Christ.

Romans 8:28-29 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

We are all under some kind of pressure and cutting. This is the loving hand of God upon our life, conforming us into the image of Jesus. The enemy tells us it is a sign God doesn’t care about us, but he is a liar. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just like the visitors at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, who reject some precious stones because they don’t look precious, so we reject some people, because they don’t look like diamonds. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. God will take people that this world rejects, and He will use them for His glory.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

Yes, we are just a common chunk of coal and we don’t look very valuable, but we are going to be a diamond someday. In the meantime, we have some pressure and cutting to endure.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Consider the pressure and cutting Joseph was put under: 1. Sold into slavery by his brothers. 2. Subjected to Potiphar and to his wife. 3. Lied about and put into prison for doing what was right. 4. But then, God brought him out of that pressure and set him up second only the Pharaoh.

Pressure and cutting are not enjoyable experiences, but God is making diamonds—diamonds for His glory, not ours.

Isa 62:3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

1Pe 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Yes, we are all under pressure and cutting, but God is controlling the pressure and the cutting. He is developing our character. What is the character of a diamond? Diamonds are characterized by four things: 1. the clarity, 2. the cut, 3. the color, and 4. the carat.

The clarity refers to the number of flaws a diamond has and they are rated by whether or not they can be seen by the eye or only under magnification. All of us have flaws, even if others cannot see them because we keep them hidden. There has only been one flawless, precious stone—Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

We might not want to admit it, but we all have flaws. The only thing that will remove flaws is the Blood of Jesus Christ. We have been perfected by His Blood. One day, God will call us to be with Him, and we will be placed in His “jewelry box” where we will be forever.

The cut of the diamond is the most important aspect of diamond beauty. Diamonds don’t come out of the ground looking like they do in your rings. Moreover, a diamond has no say in how it is cut. Our Master cutter, the Holy Spirit, conforms us to the image of Christ and shapes us for His purpose. We are to just sparkle and reflect His Light.

The color of a diamond has a lot to do with where the diamond was formed. The Crater of Diamonds State Park has a lot of yellow and brown diamonds. However, all diamonds are precious stones and valuable. The rarest colors are the most expensive.

The carat weight is not the same thing as size. Diamonds cut too shallow may appear larger than they should, while diamonds cut too deep may look smaller. However, God does not judge us on how much weight and influence we have or our outside appearance. He looks at our heart.

The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas", which means indestructible. Diamonds are so hard that THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SCRATCH A DIAMOND IS ANOTHER DIAMOND. Therefore, special diamond-coated cutters are used to grind the rough diamond down to a cut line.

Prov 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Now you understand why that “hard to love” brother or sister, who always seems to grate on you, is in the congregation. God is using them to “cut” you and make you more valuable, and vice versa. God is perfecting your love, making you more like Him.

1John 4:7-12 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Diamonds are made of a single element, carbon, and their strength comes from the carbon molecules binding together by sharing four electrons. It is the strongest bond possible.  Jesus prayed for this type of unity and bonding in His Church.

John 17:19-23 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Diamonds are one of God’s most beautiful creations, and they are formed under the most grueling conditions. Another of God’s beautiful creations is also formed by difficult circumstances, the saint.

Jesus, went through grueling conditions for our infirmities, so we could be united with our Creator, and be transformed into diamonds (saints) for His glory. Now, that’s true love. And that what His love looks like in us as we devote our lives to Jesus and to one another.

1Peter 1:18-22 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

God cuts His diamonds in different ways for different purposes. For instance, some saints react more emotionally than others, and some don’t show much emotion at all. We are all different and we have different gifts. That is why we need each other to be God’s Church. The mortar that holds all of God’s precious stones together in His Church is love.

Col 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

The world is desperate to see these living stones, shining like diamonds, reflecting Christ and filled with His love. They shine, not because they agree on everything, but because they don’t and it doesn’t tear them apart. What an amazing testimony to a battle-weary, loveless world.

In summary, I remind you that diamonds are forever and love never ends. The pressure and cutting you feel are signs of the love of God and that you have eternal life. Once we have persevered, and once we have gone through the pressure and cutting, the Bible says we will “receive the crown of life”.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Although we are but a piece of coal, yet with enough pressure, with enough time, with enough cutting, we will turn out to be diamonds in the kingdom of God.

By the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, we are to sparkle as we reflect God’s love and tell others about Jesus.

Let us find our place in God’s building. Let us do our part before the trumpet calls us to depart. May He keep us strong so we will be blameless on that day. He’s our life and fellowship; let’s be the Church that reflects the character of Jesus Christ.

However, if you have not made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior and died to yourself in baptism, then you can never become diamond in God’s Kingdom. Your good works will never make you precious in God’s sight. Confess your sin and declare Jesus as your Lord today during the invitation hymn. You will be changed and become a living stone in God’s Church.