The Burning

Friday, May 31, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Take Time To Be Holy"1 (Lyrics)

While I was using a bar of my homemade goat soap, I was once again amazed at how such a lovely, gentle cleansing agent comes forth from using the caustic substance, lye, to produce it.

To make the soap, I add a considerable amount of lye crystals to slushy goat's milk. The lye causes the temperature of the cold milk to soar up to 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it has cooled down to a certain temperature, four different types of oil, beeswax, and honey heated to the same temperature are combined with the lye and the milk. The end product, a beautiful soap, is ready to use in six weeks' time.

Sodium hydroxide lye is an essential component in the soap-making reaction because its hydroxide ion combines with the oil and fat to form the soap. A chemical change involving the lye must happen in order to create soap. Even though, on its own, lye burns and corrodes, when mixed appropriately with oils, it becomes an amazing cleansing product.

Likewise, over the years, I have discovered that God's truth, as revealed through His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit, can so effectively pinpoint areas of sin in my life that I feel like I have been burned — with shame and remorse, guilt and sorrow. At the same time, however, the oil of His gracious love, forgiveness, kindness, grace, and mercy through Jesus Christ, mixed with the burning truth of His Word, becomes a gentle and beautiful cleansing agent in my life.

Without lye, there is no soap. And without the burning truth of God's Word to convict and convince us of the reality of our sin, there can be no recognition, confession, and repentance of our sin, all actions that are necessary to bring us back into good standing with the One who loves us so.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

Today, may each of us allow the burning truth of God's Word, plus the oil of His love, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and grace, through Jesus Christ, be the purifying soap that cleanses us from the inside out.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the burning truth of Your Word that is faithful to convict and convince us of our sin. May we be a people of openness and honesty before You, that our lives may reflect the goodness of Your truth, mercy, love, kindness, and grace to the world around us. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Lynne. Blessings!

    A great analogy Lynne. Thank you.

    Thank you, Lynne, for another interesting spiritual devotion!

    Fabulous analogy, Lynne! Thank you so much.

    Good memories and a comparison I hadn’t thought about. Thank you.

    Thank you, Lynne, for this interesting and unusual way of demonstrating how we are convicted and cleansed.

    Hi Lynn,
    A very good devotional this morning, thank you for writing.

    Lynne, how well I remember my mom making soap on the farm. Nothing took out stains like the lye soap. Thank you for reminding me that Holy Spirit does that for us, too.

    Lynne, I enjoyed learning about the soap making process and thought the way you applied the process to biblical truths and applications was most insightful. Thanks!

    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this instructive devotional with us. Having never made soap in my life, the process amazed me…but not nearly as much as God’s forgiveness through Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour! Blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for this lovely devotional. I will never look at a bar of soap without being reminded of God’s love and grace toward us.
    Blessings to your day!

    Dearest Lynne, this is one of the best ever! That “burning” truly brings the most blessed cleansing ever experienced. Who would ever figure out that recognition, shame, remorse and repentance could be the ingredients for such amazing blessing – that keeps on blessing!! Bless you Lynne.

    Greetings Lynne,
    Many thanks for another great devotional and the example of comparing the cleansing action of your homemade soap to the cleansing of our sins is perfect. Our Lord is truly awesome and ever ready to serve us.
    Blessings and enjoy a beautiful day.

    Thanks, Lynne, for all your inspirational Devotions. It amazes me how the Lord has given you the gift of changing happenings in one’s life, your precious horses and animals to enable you to develop a meaningful Devotion. The moment I read the first one or two of paragraphs I know the Devotional belongs to you.
    May the Lord continue to bless you in giving you the ability to write meaningful Devotions.

    Dear Lynne,
    Every time I begin reading a devotion that captures God’s truth and grace in a unique and thought-provoking way, I find your name when I come to the contributor. You have such beautiful insights rooted in your everyday experiences! Thank you for taking the time to share your inspirations with others. May God continue to bless you, that you may continue to a blessing to many.

    Dear Lynne,
    Your devotional brought back memories of my mother making soap from fat of our farm animals.
    Mother’s homemade soap was a little hard on our hands, so we had to use rubber gloves when washing dishes with it.
    I appreciate the cleansing lessons you brought forth.
    Jesus cleanses “whiter than snow.”
    Thank you.
    Keep writing.

    Lynne, l love this analogy with the lye crystals and the emollient properties of soap to describe God’s burning conviction combined with the soothing oily balm of His love, kindness, and mercy. Also, now I’m interested in making my own soap! Blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    My mother used to make soap from the fat of our animals that were killed for meat. The lye in her recipe made soap that was a bit hard on hands. If her soap was used for washing dishes, we needed to wear rubber gloves to protect our hands.
    However, my experiences with Mother’s soap, made your devotional meaningful. I appreciate the lessons you brought forth.

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