Good morning, y'all, and Happy Fitness Friday!
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Are you frustrated with trying to change yourself? If so, I hope you find encouragement in this message.
I've been meaning to write Part 2 of What's Cookin' Part 1 for a while now, but kept getting side-tracked. If you haven't read the first message (or like me, if you need a refresher because it's been so long!), please read now or some of this post may not make sense.
Back to the beans...
Yes, they tasted OK, and best of all, they didn't taste burnt. But they didn't look quite right, and something was missing in the taste. I was expecting that dark, rich color I've seen in other people's baked beans. And I was expecting a bit of tangy, heavy sweetness that just wasn't there.
Have you guessed the missing ingredient?
Yes, you're right, it was molasses! My husband came back from the store with the molasses shortly after the beans emerged from the oven. I thought, "Hey, I'll just add it now - who will know the difference?"
So I stirred in the required amount, and popped the beans back into the oven for a few minutes. It didn't take long for the color to change the sauce so the beans looked right on the outside.
But without time for the molasses to bake into the beans, they were not changed on the inside. Something was still missing in their taste.
And so it is with us. We "put on" good works and "do" good things, and we often look quite good on the outside. Yet deep down inside we know something is missing, because we know our thoughts and the attitudes in our hearts don't always match our "good" words and deeds. In other words, we know how we are on the inside.
Looking good on the outside starts on the inside, and it takes time. And it is only possible with Jesus doing the changing. We cannot change ourselves, but we can definitely get worn out trying!
If you have never asked Jesus into your life and into your heart, that is the first change He desires to make: He is the missing ingredient you have been seeking. I pray for you right now that you will invite Him in. When you do, He will immediately infuse you with His presence. As you walk with Jesus, He will reveal Truth that will set you free: the truth of who God really is, and the truth of who He created you to become.
Whether you just met Jesus for the first time, or you've known Him for years, don't just leave Him on the outside of your life, thinking you will look good because you know about Him. Instead, spend time in His presence and invite His love to bake into your entire being, and be changed on the inside.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7, NIV)
Back to the beans...
Beans are changed in just a few hours, but being changed into the likeness of Jesus takes a lifetime. So be patient with yourself, and keep responding to Jesus in obedience and with faith that He will do what you cannot.
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6, NIV)
If you just invited Jesus into your life, I'd love to hear from you and pray with you. Please leave a comment or send me an email.