[CF Devotionals] 2014-08-03 - Can You Take the Heat?

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As I put together the ingredients of a birthday cake just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of how it is really a chemistry experiment. Some flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa, butter, buttermilk, baking soda and baking powder mixed just rightly, and then there's a beautiful and delicious chocolate pound cake to share, in celebration of being born. Oh, I left out a step. You have to bake it for an hour. And if you never add the heat to the mix, it's never any more than a bowl of batter.

So it is with our lives, after we decide to commit to the Lord. There will be heat added to our lives (not if, but it will happen: James 1:2-4), and we have to hang on and see where it takes us, and how it molds us into the vessel that best represents whatever aspect of God's character that he has chosen to use us to show. Even within human relationships, we see people all around us looking for something meaningful. And when things are good, life is good. But when it gets tough – in order to find joy – people, whether following Jesus or not, often revert to those behaviors that have often left them feeling empty. It won't work. All that happens, after emptying that pint of sorbet, is that I wish I had stopped sooner. Whatever your thing might be to try and feel better, remember that in the end, the only relief we will get is trusting in our Father to lift us up, and carry us through the fire.

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved-even though only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

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All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.


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