My grandchildren beg for an easy-to-make dessert they say I invented. (Actually, I didn’t invent it, but don’t tell them.) I call it Choco-Heaven. They love it. I just buy Pamela’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie mix. (Don’t tell them it’s gluten free either or I will have to duct tape you to a chair.) I mix it together with a couple other ingredients, bake them, put some frozen yogurt between two slightly warm cookies, and – voila! Choco-Heaven!
I’ve heard there are people who actually like chocolate chip cookies WITHOUT the chocolate chips! How crazy! So, what could you call chocolate chip cookies without the chips? I couldn’t imagine such a thing, so I Googled it. Would you believe there ARE recipes called “Chocolate Chip-less Cookies”, “Non Chocolate Chip Cookies” and “Unchocolate Chip Cookies”? Total heresy! Why don’t they just call them “Cookies Without the Good Stuff”, or maybe even “Cookies Your Dog Can Eat”.
When those hot cookies come out of the oven it is impossible to distinguish the eggs, flour, and sugar that went into the mixing bowl. But those chocolate chips? Now those are recognizable! They are dark dots of gooey goodness begging us to take a bite.
Maybe we (you know, the church?) need to be the chocolate chips in this crazy, mixed-up world. We’re living in a bowl full of useless ingredients – anger, fear, racism, insecurity, self-centeredness, and pride. Things like character, integrity, good manners, common courtesy, and respect have been beaten so long by Satan’s spoon that we can’t separate the good from the bad. Things that used to be tossed out with the trash are now acceptable in the world’s recipe. So, what’s a chocolate chip to do in this rancid mixture?
- We keep our form in the batter. We don’t lose hope, nor do we conform to the batter of this world, but we help transform the batter by the renewing of our sweet, little minds. (Rom. 12:2) Knowing, without a doubt, that we belong to the only God who continuously lavishes us with His love and blessings creates an unquenchable craving to love Him back. (1 John 3:1) We are in the world, but not of the world. (John 17:15-16)
- We take the scorching heat of pain and suffering realizing that in this world we WILL have trouble, but Jesus has come and helps us overcome the world. (John 16:33) It takes high, sometimes-prolonged heat to transform us into oozing morsels the world notices.
- We connect with other dark dots of gooey goodness (even in other church families) that keep the gospel of Jesus the main ingredient in their lives. We encourage each other to remain tasty so that others will want to taste the sweetness of Christ. (Hebrews 10:22-25; 2 Corinthians 2:15)
- Finally, we NEVER become stale. We turn up the worship music when the world turns up the heat. (Psalm 100) We add a continuous dose of prayer to our life’s mixture. We rejoice always, and give thanks no matter what. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) We stay in the Word to get to know the One who made us. The more we know Him, the more we will love Him. The more we love Him, the more we will love others. That’s when the sweet fragrance of Christ drifts beneath their noses, and they can’t resist tasting His goodness.
So, go ahead! Embrace your chocolaty goodness! After all, I really don’t think God meant for this to be a Chocolate Chip-less world. Do you?