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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Another parable He spoke to them: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until it was all leavened.’”—Matthew 13:33 (NKJV)
Recently, I hosted a potluck at my home for my small group, and I almost accidentally poisoned my sisters in Christ. The gal who had signed up to bring the dessert was not feeling well and called to cancel just fifteen minutes before our gathering. I decided to make a quick batch of brownies, scrounged in the pantry, and managed to find all the essential ingredients: brownie mix, eggs, and oil. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was the half empty bottle of vegetable oil had turned rancid. That half a cup of liquid spread a sour taste throughout my chocolate squares and surprised us all.
In the gospels, Jesus tells His disciples a story about baking bread to help them understand their lives are an essential ingredient to help infuse this world with the gospel message. The tiniest amount of leaven hidden away in a huge batch of bread serves as an agent to effect unmistakable change and expand the dough. Just like leaven, our lives are actively engaged in creating transformation from within, and our efforts work to extend the kingdom to every corner of this earth.
The enemy of our souls wants us to believe we are too insignificant to make a real impact in this broken world, but God created each of us for a specific purpose. We swallow a lie and poison our thinking when we tell ourselves we are not needed as influencers in His kingdom. When we decide to get off the shelf and pour our lives into the mix as active agents, we partner with God to bring redemption and create a beautiful masterpiece. Our contribution always makes a difference.
This week, we can offer up a spoonful of God’s grace in our circles of influence and permeate this world with the love of Christ. All around us, there are lost people who have been poisoned by sin and are living sour lives. We can carry the sweetness of the gospel message to them and impact their eternal destiny. You might just be the essential ingredient needed to contribute to their spiritual growth.
DIG: Read Mark 8:13-21. What lesson did Jesus want the disciples to learn about offering their all to the kingdom?
DISCOVER: Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. What ingredients are essential for God to use you to do His mighty work in this world?
DO: Read 2 Corinthians 2:14 and ask God to show you how you can intentionally spread the scent of Christ in your workplace and neighborhood this week.