Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Little Leaven

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
James 2:10
(KJV)

Zachary's Aunt Sandi sent him the neatest slime-making kit...
I believe it was for his birthday last year.
We have been intending to sit down and do it ever since,
but you know how that goes.
So many projects.
So much fun to make.
So little extra time.

Today, Zach was cleaning his room and came across it,
and he brought it out and asked me if we could work on it.

We seized the opportunity, and we did it.
We ended up making all seven kinds of slime contained in the kit.
(We took the picture before we made the last "glow-in-the-dark" kind...
which, by the way, really works!)
My favorite is the rainbow (on the bottom right of the pyramid.)


Isn't it pretty?


The directions say if you leave it for several hours, 
the colors will truly blend into a rainbow.

We made this one by starting out with three separate cups,
adding just one drop of food coloring (red, yellow, and blue) to each cup.

Zach said this was the most fun he's ever had doing anything like this!
Actually, we both had a lot of fun.
Or should I say all three of us....

Kevin was in his home office working, 
but even he was able to enjoy it by peeking his head around the corner
every now and then, seeing what we were oohing and aahing over.
Can I tell you how much I love having him working from home, by the way?
What an incredible, precious, unexpected gift from God above.
I can make him fresh, home-cooked plates of food and take it to him,
run in for a quick hug when I'm missing him,
(that is so much sweeter than just a quick talk on the phone or an email),
chat with him during his slow times,
which are few and far between, but, oh, so cherished by me!
Having him here all the time with us has made so many positive changes in our lives
and has done wonders for all three of our levels of stress.

God is an awesome and amazing God, 
Who can do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or even think.
Ephesians 3:20 has taken on a whole new and endeared meaning to me.
I would never have even thought to ask God for something this big....and wonderful.

Everything was going along just fine with our slime-making, 
and each type of slime was turning out just like the instructions said it would...
until...we came to the Saturn Mud, that is.


Oops!

One of the things about making slime is you have to get just the right amount 
of Sodium Tetraborate, otherwise known as "STB solution", (Borax) into your mixture.
If you put in too little, the slime will not gel into one form.
If you put in just the right amount, it will drop out of the cup in one nicely-gelled ball.
If you drop in too much, you will run into trouble....as I soon found out.

We dropped in yellow and red food coloring to make the slime orange,
then we began dropping in the STB solution.
You are supposed to stop as soon as you see that the mixture has formed
into a single blob of slime.
It is a bit tricky.
One drop too much, and you've gone too far.

It was my fault.
I was stirring.
Zach was dropping the solution in, one dropperful at a time.
I was calling the drops.
Somehow, I over-estimated, and I told him to keep dropping....
until there was just too much.
Instead of it resembling rubber, as the instructions said it would,
it turned into a rubbery-liquid-blob-type stuff.
The STB over-powered the other ingredients,
and things were off-balance.

You can always add more liquid,
but unfortunately, you can't take liquid out...
once it seeps in that deep and becomes part of the composition.
Once it is in there, it's in there.

We tried and tried to undo our mistake.
We dried the blob with a paper towel...several times.
We poured the excess water in the sink...more than once.
The extra liquid has permeated down through the entire blob,
and there is just no way of drawing it back out.
The consistency is such that it will appear things are getting better,
then a puddle forms again...in the bottom of the cup.


See the extra liquid?
Every time we drain it, it is like it multiplies...and reproduces. :~)


There are things we do in life that can never be undone.
They cannot be fixed.
Cannot be repaired or mended,
no matter what levels of extremes to which we go.

We added too much STB solution, so the Saturn Mud is forever altered.
Sure, we could go back and start over, with all new ingredients,
and we might just do that....if we have enough supplies left.
But, this particular batch will never be right...
because of our error.

It didn't take much.
Just one drop more than was necessary.
to ruin the whole batch and cause it to be less than it was meant to be.

Galatians 5:9 says, 
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."

A tiny bit of yeast is enough to permeate throughout the entire batch of dough,
causing it to rise and creating air pockets in the whole loaf of bread.
A little dab will do ya.
It doesn't take a lot.

The poison from one bad apple will have a negative impact on the whole barrel of apples.

A little sin will add to your trouble,
subtract from your energy,
multiply your difficulty,
and divide your blessing.
Author Unknown

Uzza had only to touch the Ark of the Covenant one brief time in order to lose his life...
even though he had the best of intentions in reaching his hand to steady it when the ox pulling its cart stumbled.
I Chronicles 13:6-10
God's previous command had been not to touch the Ark.  Period.
Numbers 4:15

It only took a little taste of forbidden fruit for Adam and Eve to fall from God's favor.
God had told them not to eat of that particular tree.
Genesis 3:1-13

It only takes one drop of food coloring to alter the entire liquid contents of a whole cup of slime water.

David's big sins all started with the little, hidden sin of lust in the heart
as he stood on his rooftop and watched Bathsheba.
2 Samuel 11:2

It is the little foxes that spoil the vines.  Song of Solomon 2:15

It only took one backward glance by Lot's wife
for her to be turned into a pillar of salt.
Genesis 19:26
God had told them to escape for their lives and not to look back.  Period.
Genesis 19:17

It only took the greed and disobedience of one man named Achan
to cause the entire camp of Israel to be punished and 36 innocent men to die in battle.
In the end, not only he lost his life, but his sons and daughters and all of his animals had to die, also...
all because of his sin.
Joshua 7:1-26
"Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing,
and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel?
and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.
Joshua 22:20

Though you and I are only one person, individually,
what we do affects other people.
It is like a domino effect.
No man is an island.

Just a little....of your sins...my sins....
your Godliness, my Godliness....or lack thereof,
has an impact on our spouse, children, other family members,
the church,
our entire nation.

Remember, what we do trickles outward to every civilized part of our society.

One little root of bitterness in one heart will defile the lives of many.
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled..."
Hebrews 12:15

We may be only one person, individually, but every one of us innately holds the power of influence.
It is automatic.
What we do is either impacting others negatively or positively.
There is no middle ground.

Ask yourself these questions.

How is my family different because I am a member of it?
Is it happier, more joyful, more Christlike?

What is my contribution to the Body of Christ?
Am I, by my life and example, building it up...or tearing it down?
Does my personal example compel others to draw closer to God
or to pull away from Christ and drift closer to the world?
If everyone in my local church congregation were just like me,
what kind of church would mine be?
Do I support my pastor and church leader(s),
or do I undermine their authority?
Do I faithfully and consistently tithe? 

Whew!
Dare I bring this up?
Such a touchy subject....so sore to the touch....among so many circles.

Please hear me out...the burden upon my heart is heavy.
I promise, I speak the truth in love.

Tithing is not an option, if we are to fulfill the law of Christ and bear one another's burdens.
Contrary to what we may or may not have been taught
and opposite of what we may have convinced ourselves,
tithing is as mandatory in the New Testament dispensation of grace as it was in the Old Testament under the law.
The Old Testament laid the precedent for the New, my friend.
If you have any doubts on this issue, look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Search the red letters of your Bible.
He spoke only the truth....He is the truth.
Jesus Christ clearly and absolutely supported and reinforced the Old Testament mandate of tithing in Matthew 23:23.
The little three-letter word "n-o-t"...(sixth word from the end of that verse in the KJV)...
removes all doubt and dispels the flimsy cop-out that
"we now live under grace, and tithing was only for the Old Testament dispensation".

Wrong.

Jesus didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it....(Matthew 5:17)
and to give you and I grace to do the same.
God has placed us as stewards with a free will over all He has entrusted to us.
We will all give an account of whether we did or did not tithe
and
whether we did or did not rob God.

"Will a man rob God?
Yet ye have robbed me.
But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?
In tithes and offerings."
Malachi 3:8

It is God we are robbing...when we justify the way we refuse to
support our spiritual leaders and the cause of Christ.

The word "tithe" literally means "tenth"....
this is the Biblical requirement.
It is non-negotiable.
Dare I go one step further and even broach the subject of offerings?
If we are negligent to even give God the base requirement of a 10% tithe...
what are we doing about offerings....which are over and beyond the required amount?

God's economy is the perfect solution to the economic maladies of our day.
He set these precedents in place for a purpose.
If the daily operations of the Old Testament church relied upon each individual giving 10% of their income...
if it worked then....
if all needs were supplied,
why think it is any different now?

If we all gave a full, Biblically-demanded ten percent of our income...
every need would be supplied.
The church would have what it needs to cover everything Jesus mentioned in Matthew 25:35,36....
to feed the hungry,
to quench the thirsty,
to provide shelter for those who need it,
to clothe the naked,
to visit and provide for the needs of the sick,
to go unto the ones in prison,
to spread the Gospel into every part of the world.

There wouldn't be so many suffering from poverty and hunger and without hope in our world.

Nor would there be so many who are forced to turn to and rely upon our government for help.

Could the "little leaven" of greed in the hearts of Christians be at least partly the answer to why 
there are so many homeless, starving, destitute people?
Is the church really obeying God's command to reach out to those in need?
Does it even have what it needs in order to reach out?
Can we really profess to being filled with the love of God,
when we consistently shut up our bowels of compassion towards those who have a need?

"But whoso hath this world's good,
and seeth his brother have need,
and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him,
how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1 John 3:17


Sometimes, we can be the answers to our own prayers...
if we would trust God's economics and do what we are supposed to already be doing.

If we, as Christians, would confess our sins of pride and greed,
if we would humble ourselves before God,
repent and turn around and do what we are supposed to be doing,
God would, in turn, heal our land.

Listen to God's truth.
Don't buy satan's lies.
You won't starve, if you tithe.
Trust me on this.
God clearly led Kevin and I to start tithing years ago.
He revealed the truth to us and made it plain that tithing is not any more optional
than any other Biblical command.
He has faithfully and consistently always met our needs....every, single one of them.
I don't think you could ever accuse me of being malnourished or underfed.  :)

You cannot outgive God.
He will bless you every time, and He promises that He will supply your every need....
if you put Him first.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; 
and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:33

"Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, 
that there may be meat in mine house, 
and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, 
if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, 
that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, 
and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; 
neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
"
Malachi 3:9-12

It's all connected.
It all correlates.
What we, as God's people do, absolutely and all-encompassingly 
affects our nation...on every level.

We, too often, are a greedy, proud people.
The top ten percent belongs to God, my friend.
It is as mandatory, in God's sight,
as the chunk of your paycheck called Federal Income Tax that is deducted before you ever see it,
is to our government.
It isn't optional.
Jesus said,
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's,
and unto God the things which be God's."
Luke 20:25
You can argue all day long with an IRS agent,

and your taxes will still be due.
You can defy God's Word all your life,
and your tithes still need to be paid.
We owe it to Him Who gives us the money in the first place.
Like it or don't.
Take it or leave it.
It is His Word that demands it, not mine. :~)
The One Who spoke the words will judge the hearts.

So, lets be honest and continue asking those pointed...sometimes painful (OUCH!) questions.
Does the cause of Christ suffer because of my disobedience and greed?
Is my pastor, spiritual leader, or overseer in need?
Is there a threat of the doors of my church being closed,
because I refuse to give God what is already and rightfully His?
Do(es) my local church leader(s) know I have their back?
Even if our 10% is meager,
it all adds up....
and it is enough...if we all do our individual part.

How are my personal choices affecting my nation?
Do I stand for truth and Godliness?
Or do I cower to the pressure of unGodly secularism?
Am I pro-active in righteous causes?
Or do I take a back seat, hoping someone else will break free from the prevailing apathy...
and actually do something.
What am I doing to start an upward, backward turn....
to God, to the Bible, to the standards upon which our great nation was founded?
Am I faithful at my post of duty to consistently pray for my president and government leaders?
They need our prayers more than our criticism.
It does no good to point fingers,
find fault,
and place blame.
Because the truth of the whole matter is that....
we are where we are because we, as individual Christians,
and as the collective Body of Christ, 
have completely and shamefully dropped the ball.
We can't get along with each other.
We are as proud and stiff-necked as any Old Testament Israelite.
We refuse to humble our hearts.
God has blessed each of us abundantly,
yet,we justify tossing a couple of dollars, if that, into the offering plate, as it passes....
deceptively convincing ourselves that we are no longer required to tithe...
that we are not our brother's keeper,
that we have no personal financial or compassionate responsibility.
We continue to pummel one another and start up new dividing-wall-building projects.

Only humility and the prayers and repentance of God's people will turn this thing around.
We are responsible.
It is time that we stop dodging the blame....that we own up...and confess...and repent.

As goes the church, so the nation will follow.
I am thoroughly convinced of it.
It all starts in one humble, repentant, willing-to-finally-obey-God heart.

It only took one man to save the entire human race from complete extinction, remember?

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
 and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Sound familiar?

"And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."

Genesis 6:5-8

But Noah!

One man.
That was all God could find.
That was all God needed.

Just one....
to spare the whole human population from total obliteration.
And because of Noah's determination to live Godly in a wicked, evil world,
his wife and three sons and their wives were spared, also.

Eight lives were saved...because of one man's integrity.

So I ask you, my friend,
who will ultimately suffer....or benefit....from what you...and I decide to do?


"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, 
as ye are unleavened.
For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us..."
1 Corinthians 5:7
Shouldn't we then make sacrifices for Him....and for one another?

Each of us are only one person.
We can't do everything, individually, but we can each do something.
It just takes a little leaven....to make the whole loaf rise.

2 comments:

  1. Love this analogy and what a fun gift to give to a boy. My kids would have loved it!

    I love your quote: "We can't do everything, individually, but we can each do something." Yes, we need each other and to hold each other accountable and encourage one another!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party! FYI, the NEW linky part is live and ready for your posts today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for leaving encouragement behind! I appreciate it so much. I'll be over to your page to link up soon! God's peace be with you, Cheryl

      Delete