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Losing Our Identity

2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. One of the hardest things to do when you are unhappy, bored or disouraged is to not compare your life with someone else's. Some have called it a comparison trap. Oftentimes when we are idle or restless in our own lives, we seem to notice what is going on and into the lives of others. When this happens we lose our own identity. It's not wise to compare yourself to another person or your life to their life.  Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. You are exactly the way you are supposed to be. Don't let the weakness in you affect the greatness in you. You have been given all that you need to be the success that God desires for you. Settle down and settle in to that best version of you that we all want to see. You are amazing!

Christmas Cookies

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This little cookie has so many wonderful ingredients. It reminds me of one of those square 7 layer treats that is so good, you have to nibble because you just can’t handle a full bite!  From FAITH to LOVE and all of the other layers in between this cookie has got it all. You see God gave us promises. Those promises help us to be participants in His divine nature. By participating in His agenda we can escape corruption, i.e. all of the evil and dark things of this world. Evil desires will not have a hold on us because we will not even be in the same place as they are. If we POSSESS these qualities we are going to succeed!  Recipes are used for a reason…because we can forget ingredients and to forget something could be damaging to the end result. In the same way you and I must make certain that all of these things get into our life every day.

Faith is necessary…without it God is not pleased. But faith without works…is dead. Goodness…being a good person is a wonderful characteristic but without knowledge, self-control and perseverance, good will not be good enough. Godliness…living a godly life is incredible but without being kind and loving your brothers and sisters in Christ (and those not yet in Christ), without love we just go through the motions.  All of the ingredients must be added in the proper measure to produce the “cookie” that you like to eat. And the thing about this spiritual Christmas Cookie: it is part of the mixture that allows you to keep being effective and productive and pleasing to those in your circle of influence.

So follow me here: the promises of God are given to you so that through them you can participate in the plan that God has for you. That plan has a recipe…a deep dish of faith and seven layers: seven ingredients that must be measured out and thoroughly blended together. By doing so we escape corruption and evil desires because we are walking in a different direction. When the mixture is ready, all that remains is subjecting it to the heat for some time and allow the heat to bring complete the process. The heat does not hurt them…it shapes them. Heat brings out the best in our Christmas Cookies. In life it’s the heat, the trials and the tests that should bring out the best in us too! We should continue to rise…to be effective…to be producers. As my mom’s cookies would bake the house would be filled with the aroma of what she was baking. The longer they baked, the more I craved what was coming. I would look forward to the bell that signaled the heating time was over and now they were ready. She would take them out, line them up on wax paper or a cooling tray and then we would wait with anticipation for a moment or two before we began enjoying the tasty treats.

The aroma, all of the ingredients, following the recipe…it all led to the best Christmas Cookie ever.  And why shouldn’t it be…go back to that first verse…His divine power…has given to us…everything we need to live a godly life.  

**Cookie #1 from the book Christmas Cookies: Edible Treats for Your Body and Soul