Cocoa Powder

Trust God and Be Obedient

Sadie came in the back door and took a deep breath. Mmm, brownies. When she rounded the corner into the kitchen she stopped. There were stacks of brownies everywhere! Sadie reached out to take a brownie off the stack nearest to her. “Stop right there!” 

“Mom, you scared me to death! Where were you?” Mom chuckled. “I needed more baggies. Hands off those brownies. Those are for the bake sale tomorrow.” Sadie’s shoulders fell. “We can’t eat even one?” 

“Not unless you want to pay for it.” Mom opened the baggies and dropped the brownies into individual bags. “Do you need any help?” Sadie really wanted to get her hands on a brownie. They smelled so good. 

“Sure, you can clean up and put all the ingredients away.” Sadie spied the cocoa powder sitting there without the lid. She picked it up and inhaled deeply. Mmm, chocolate. What if she just ate a spoonful of the cocoa instead of a brownie? All that chocolaty goodness made her mouth start to water. 

Sadie grabbed a spoon and Mom spoke. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It doesn’t taste as good as it smells.” Sadie smelled the cocoa again. “Trust me.” Mom said. 

“It can’t be that bad.” Sadie said. She took a big bite, then grimaced and choked, blowing cocoa powder all over the sink and counter. “Yuck!” She spit the powder in the sink and used a cup to rinse her mouth, her eyes watering because of the bitter taste. 

“You know, this reminds me of our devotion this morning,” said Mom as she helped Sadie wipe the counter. “Remember how Satan made the fruit so appealing Eve began to doubt she could trust God’s word?” 

“Just like I didn’t trust you about the cocoa powder.” Sadie mumbled. Mom nodded, continuing. “Sin looks appealing, but when you get a bite, it is bitter and makes your soul sick. The cocoa smelled good, but you didn’t trust me when I told you it doesn’t taste good.” 

“Yeah, I think I’ll remember this lesson the next time I’m tempted not to trust you.” said Sadie. Mom hugged her. “The same goes for trusting God. Next time you are tempted to sin, remember the bitterness that will follow and trust Him. Obedience won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.” 

Follow Up Verse

The LORD watches over those who obey him, those who trust in his constant love. Psalm 33:18 (GNT)

F. I. T. – Follow It Through

Do you wonder if God is trustworthy? Should we be obedient to Him and his commands? The answer is Yes! He only wants what is best for us. The Bible says that if we are obedient and trust God, He will bless us.  Be obedient and trust God. He has good plans for us and will give us a hopeful future.

A Few Good Men

Have you felt like things were spiraling out of control recently? I know I have. With all that is going on in the world right now, most of us are terrified to leave our homes, unsure about the future, and trying to resist caving to panic and fear. Our front line workers and essential employees are fighting to help stem the spread of the pandemic that is sweeping across our nation while still providing the goods and services we need to keep going. We have good men and women working and serving everyday to help others.

All the good notwithstanding, we must consider possible reasons behind the state of the world at this moment. It is time for self-reflection. Is there anything I can do to contribute?

Most people, even unbelievers, know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The two cities had become so full of sin that The Lord Himself came down to investigate and see with His own eyes. He stopped by Abraham’s tent and foretold of their coming son, Issac, and then made his way towards the two cities.  He did not hide what He was going to do and Abraham interceded on behalf of the people of the cities. Abraham begged the Lord to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, even though they were so sinful, for the sake of the righteous who might be living there. Abraham begged that if fifty could be found, would The Lord spare them? The Lord agreed to spare them for fifty. Abraham risks further wrath by arguing for smaller numbers five more times, until he gets to the number ten.

“Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”(Genesis 18:32)

However, as we all know, ten righteous people could not be found. The two cities could have been saved by a few good men. 

What about your city? Are there ten righteous? Can it be saved?  The Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles what to do in times of trouble.

At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)(emphasis mine)

Are you the swing? Is your “city” counting on you to be one of the righteous? Are you living like it is? If not, humble yourself. Pray and seek God’s face. Turn from your wicked ways. What would happen if we all chose to live like we were the deciding factor in saving our city?

It is time for self-reflection. There is something you can contribute. Prayer. Pray for personal, local, and national repentance and protection. Sacrifice. Stay home and practice social distance when you must leave on essential trips. Understanding. Follow rules and guidelines to help stop the spread. Leaders are doing all they can, lift them up in prayer so that they can make wise decisions. This is an unprecedented situation and therefore calls for an unprecedented reaction.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

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