Monday, September 8, 2014

What's BUTTER got to do with it?

A few years ago I was invited to speak at a ladies' "Cake Baking Service".  Like many of you, I was asking myself what in the world this was.  Are we going to get together and bake a cake?  What do we bring?  How is this going to work?  The service was made up of many women of God that were given the assignment of speaking on a topic.  Each woman was given a common ingredient included in baking a cake and asked to speak about that ingredient.  This was definitely new to me, though quite interesting, therefore I accepted the challenge.  I was given the ingredient BUTTER!  




The first thing I did was go to the internet!  What is the definition of butter?  A solid emulsion of fat globules, air and water made by churning mild or cream and used as food.  Hmmm.  I then consulted someone with historical familiarity with the process of making butter, my Dad.  First you must have a cow.  Fresh milk is put into a churn and churned until cream separates and curdles on top.  The contents of the churn are then strained with a flour sack.  For those younger readers, flour used to come in a cloth sack unlike the paper sack of today.  The curdles are then packed together and placed in the refrigerator...butter.  Okay, stay with me on this, I know you are wondering what in the world this has to do with the gospel or the word of God or Jesus, but just hold on...it's coming.


BREAKDOWN OF THE PROCESS:
Step 1:  You must have a cow... you must have a cow that will provide the milk, and you have to be willing to milk the cow.  I am not comparing Jesus to a cow!  However, in this process, this walk of obedience that we as Christians are called to , it requires that we look to our provider for our every need.  That provider is Jesus.  He provides our every need.  All He requires of us is to ask.  Matt. 7:7 Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you; 8 for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Step 2: Fresh milk... milk the cow.  Milking the cow takes an action on our part.  You see, if we ask, seek and knock then we receive, find and the door is opened.  James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given unto him. God's word is our sustenance as Christians, believers. 1Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere mild of the word, that ye may grow thereby;


Step 3: Put into a churn...God's word is our sustenance, we should study it, meditate on it, consume it!  Put it into our hearts, our "churns".  Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee.  Be careful what you put into your churn.


Step 4: Churn it... We can put it there by listening, by reading, by studying.  But if all we do is put it there... Joshua 1:6 This book of the law shall not depart from thy mouth; but though shall meditate herein day and night, tat thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then thou shalt make thy way propserous and then thou shall have good success.


What does it mean to meditate?  Meditate is to engage in contemplation or reflection, to engage in mental exercise.  Meditation is to focus one's thoughts on, to ponder over.


Step 5: Churn it...churn it...churn it... Be doers of His word.  Eventually, it will start to separate.  Keep working it, studying it, breaking it down, meditating on it, reflecting on it, and the richness of it will be tangible.  The product of the churning is the fruit of the labor, the fruit of the life of a believer; the kind of fruit that enhances the kingdom of God, the kind of fruit that speaks for itself because it shows in everything that you say or do.  Shouldn't our lives SCREAM to the world that we are a Christian?  Pro. 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Be willing to do His will in all you do.  Rom. 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Step 6: Strain it... This further separates out the product produced by the churning.  Do you want to be used of God?  Are you willing to go and do whatever it is He asks you do do?  Are you willing to praise Him in the storm?  Are you willing to have joy no matter what the circumstances?  Are you willing to just say Yes, Lord? James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners and purify your hearts, ye double minded.