Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Holiday Cake

There was once a pastry chef that create a cake to share with a vast number of loved ones that had been invited to a holiday celebration. The pastry chef went into the kitchen to get all the ingredients to create the cake.

All the ingredients were taken and placed one by one on the counter. The eggs, the flour, vegetable shortening, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk and vanilla were sat on the counter. The pastry chef then took out the pan. The pastry chef turned on the oven to 350 degrees to prepare the over for the cake.

The pastry chef then took the mixer and creamed the butter and shortening together. He added the sugar, a little at a time. He then added eggs, one at a time and beat the mixture together after each egg was added. In a separate bowl, he stirred all the dry ingredients together. He added the dry ingredients into the butter mixture alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. He then mixed in the vanilla.

The cake was not quite ready, but it was progressing nicely. He then poured the mixture into a greased and floured pan and baked for 1 and ½ hours until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake came out clean to show it was ready.

The chef created a powder sugar glaze to top off the pound cake. It was ready to serve up to his guest at the holiday party. The cake was a success each person that tasted it stated, “That was good!”

Well, there’s a catch to this story. There are two stories hidden in the tell of the cake and the pastry chef. The first story is not really about a cake at all, but about the wonderful holiday gift we have been given. God, that “great pastry chef” decided to invite this world, a vast number of people to a feast. He offered all the “right” ingredients in the cake (bread of life) for His guest. That sweet treat offered to everyone to come and taste and see that the Lord is good! All those that partook of the sweet treat were feed and delighted at the goodness of God. The chef’s added in his loaf only the ingredients that would produce the required results. God’s offer of salvation only adds in the ingredients that line up with his recipe. His Son came to this earth, offered Himself as the sacrifice for the world to ensure our salvation. Into his body was inserted the nails and when out came the blood and water, God knew salvation was sure. In the midst of all that appeared ugly, God added the final touch of sweetness to top off this event. That added sweetness was the assurance of all being saved that call on the name of the Lord.

There is still yet a second story. The second story is us. We are in the hands of the great pastry chef. He takes the ingredients of our lives and puts them together to make all things work together for our good. These ingredients by themselves are not very tasty (accept maybe the sugar). Just as the chef takes the butter and shortening and blends them together; God takes those things that are hard and difficult in life and softens them to become the base of the batter of our lives. The chef added the sugar a little at a time, just as God sprinkles His joy into our difficulties in life as we learn to be thankful in all things. Little by little He adds each ingredient to build the perfect batter. Yet, we are not done yet, there is still more work that needs to be done. Into the hot oven we must go. The chef knows the perfect time to pull the cake out of the over. When the toothpick is placed into the cake and it comes out clean, it is time. So it is with our lives, when God sees that we have firmed up and there is no residue clinging to the inserted tester, we are ready to serve.

God tops us off with a little sweetened glaze (love) before serving us to the vast gathering group of hungry people. Then little by little he serves His guest a piece of our lives (through our testimonies). And when they receive the sweet offering they too declare, “I have tasted and this is good!”

I encourage each of you today to allow God to serve you up this holiday. Go and allow someone to “taste and see” that God is good because you represent the work of the master chef!