All the Ingredients


A few years ago, I tried to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies at the same time that I was teaching a little Bible lesson at our church. It was the start of our annual Christmas Cookies series and the objective was to bring out four points in baking that also apply to living the life of a Christ follower:
Follow the Recipe * Use all of the ingredients * Mix thoroughly  * Let the heat “shape” you
As I was using ALL of the ingredients and placing them in the bowl, I ran into a problem: the brown sugar had solidified and was as hard as a rock because it had been prepared days earlier. We had been snowed out on Sunday so this event was rescheduled for Wednesday night. I could not do a thing with the brown sugar and I was right in the middle of the lesson! At that moment I realized the terror of improvisation and the power of Jesus at the same timeEventually we got some useable brown sugar and continued with the illustration. We got through it all but it got really "hot" up there in front of the church! I guess the heat was really shaping me!
Sometimes our life seems well planned and we do a great job of organizing and getting ourselves prepared. We have all the ingredients but you can never know everything that could happen. This “brick” of brown sugar in my illustrated sermon could represent a hardhearted person or something that is being extremely difficult in your life. It may be hard for you to see any way to get them “mixed thoroughly” into the pack and part of the final product you are attempting to create. What do you do? Simple: you pray and trust the Lord. Eventually God can soften a heart and fill it with love and compassion. In the end things just have a way of coming together. Remember if it's not coming together, it’s not the end. Follow the recipe. Use all the ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Let the heat "shape" the end result.
Stay faithful and consistent and know that God has a recipe He is making with you. He wants to use ALL of you, and surround you with many other people(ingredients). Romans 8:28 tells us that He takes all of us and mixes us together to create something good, something lovely, something tasty, just like my chocolate chip cookie. Let the "heat" shape you into that person with the mind of Christ, fearfully and wonderfully made today!