Friday, January 13, 2012

Yeast





Scripture

And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
(Luke 13:20 NASB)
“It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
(Luke 13:21 NASB)

Observation

Over and over again in the New Testament we hear about the kingdom of God. This is the new era that Jesus Christ is ushering in, God's kingdom here on this earth. Israel has been unfaithful and is being replaced by the new kingdom which Jesus has brought with him. This kingdom is not like earthly kingdoms but rather is like yeast. It is sprinkled here and there and then begins to do its work. It works from the inside on the things of this earth and transforms them. The yeast is not visible in the bread, and yet it affects the entire quality and nature of the bread and it raises up. So too, the kingdom of God is transformational as it works on the very substances which exist here on this earth.

Application

Many years ago there was a recipe placed in the old "Herald of Holiness" for someone's special Sunday dinner rolls. I'm amazed at how many women copied down that recipe and began making those rolls. I've heard them lovingly referred to as "Nazarene buns," or "Herald rolls" or "Herald of Holiness rolls." These rolls are loved because they are so light and fluffy. The secret is in the yeast and allowing the rolls to raise all night long. One small packet of yeast infuses the dough and the result is 24 beautiful, light and fluffy dinner rolls.

During the years we lived in Russia I would stockpile yeast so that I could make bread on almost a daily basis. However, it was at Thanksgiving and Christmas that I wanted to be able to make my best bread -- and the "Nazarene Buns." However, because I was stockpiling my yeast, sometimes it would go out of date. When the yeast is old and dried up, it doesn't do its job. The rolls came out small and puny and a little hard.

I believe that too often we become discouraged, thinking that we have very little influence here on this earth. But Jesus compared the kingdom of God to the yeast or leaven. One tiny packet of yeast creates a delicious batch of bread. Shouldn't that be an encouragement to us? We are members of the kingdom of God, right here on this earth. We are supposed to be the yeast and when we are sprinkled here and there, we infuse everything that we touch and the very nature and character of what is earthly is transformed. However, we must not allow ourselves to become old, outdated and dead!

Instead, we must be fresh and alive to be workers in his kingdom. We must seek him and his face on a daily basis and only in this way do we become fresh. However, there is something pleasant to be found here. You see, the yeast does its job not on its own power or strength, but simply because it is yeast! We can do the work in the kingdom of God when we are simply yeast. Our job is not to make the bread -- but rather -- become the yeast. If we are the yeast, the healthy bread will simply be a result. Seek first Jesus! Allow him to transform you -- and then simply live the transformed life. Go and be yeast!

Prayer

Lord, may I seek you today with all that I have and may you continually transform me and sprinkle me around this world. Amen.

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