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Daily Devotion

Cookie Cutter Christianity

By Missey Butler

I have a favorite family recipe I would love to share with you. It is one that has been passed on to me by a well-known gourmet chef that I've had the personal pleasure of knowing for many years now. First though, I want to tell you about a recent experience I had.

As I was patiently standing in a long checkout line, my eyes fell upon the cover of a cooking magazine. I found myself captivated by the ornately creative and beautifully decorated cookies!

All of a sudden I felt a strong surge of "Betty Crockeritis" come all over me. I heard myself saying things like, "I can do that! It can't be that hard! Wouldn't my family be so impressed with … ?"

Immediately, the voice of reason kicked in and boy was I glad. This timely voice has come to my rescue more often than I'd like to admit. It went something like this, "No, you and your family are not related to Norman Rockwell. And yes, you are right that you neither have the time nor the money to invest in this fantasy, so back away from the women's magazine. It was strategically placed there to do to you exactly what it just did!"

Wow! I was not even through the express lane and was already exhausted!

After arriving home, I quickly finished the dinner dishes and decided to pull out some of my old cookbooks. They were not quite as glamorous as the ones I had seen earlier. In fact, I had to carefully pull some pages apart that had gotten stuck together by careless batter spills.

I regretfully noticed multiple coffee rings on the outside cover from one of the many late night cook-a-thons from holidays gone by. Despite their less than perfect condition, I continued my quest for new and improved recipes. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered, way in the back of my cluttered pantry, was the old family cookbook. I smiled to myself as I ever so carefully pulled it down, at the same time trying to intercept the loosely filed "favorite aunt" recipes that were now free-falling on the floor. As I looked down at this worn and torn binder of a book, I realized it was like an old friend to me.

There were so many memories of family gatherings around the dining room table. Memories of delectable dishes made by the loving hands of my mom and grandma. As I turned the pages, it seemed to fall open to a very popular sugar cookie recipe. As I slowly read through it, I heard myself saying, "Oh yeah, this one is definitely an oldie but a goodie." But something began to happen as I read through it a second time. I began to see a very interesting spiritual parallel.

I saw how we, as God's creations, start out as nothing more than ingredients in God's mixing bowl.

Thus saith the Lord that made thee and formed thee from thy mother's womb. (Psalm 139:14)

We are rolled out with Gods rolling pin upon the flour-coated cutting board made ready by our Master.

"And the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground …," then God takes His woman and man-shaped "cookie cutter" and presses down firmly into the pliable dough. (Genesis 2:7)

And God said Let us make man in our image after our likeness.(Genesis 1:26)

Afterward, we are placed on a large cookie sheet and slipped into the pre-heated oven.

Behold, I have refined thee though not as silver, I have tested thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)

Next, we are removed and placed on a cooling rack, allowing us to cool down before the finishing touches are added.

For he that has entered into his rest has ceased from his own works. (Hebrews 4:10)

After the entire cooking process has been completed, He then takes us and very lovingly hand-decorates us.

He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment… (Revelation 3:5)

They had on their heads crowns of gold …(Revelation 4:4)

Lastly, we are ready to be served to our fellowman, to be tasted and enjoyed by all. We are to remember that we are carrying about the sweet aroma of a sacrifice acceptable and well pleasing to God - living epistles to be read of all men! (Philippians 4:18)

As I closed my cookbook and placed it back on the shelf, I thanked my wonderful culinary Friend for sharing His eternal recipe. He was teaching me that the very ingredients that are needed for life are available to me. They were written in His own "How To" book (that by the way has been on the best-seller list for quite a long time.)

As I untied my apron and laid it across the kitchen counter, I sat down with a glass of cold milk. I picked up one of the warm cookies, and as I was eating it, I thought to myself I would probably never again look at a simple sugar cookie the same way. As I turned out the kitchen light and headed up the stairway to bed, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me, "Never forget, you are my handmade creation, a one of a kind, and yes … you are 'fearfully and wonderfully made.'" (Psalm 139:4)

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