Today a thought dawned on me...I skipped a week. Not a week of baking, but a week of posting about the baking! I neglected to inform you of Romans 15:13 ministry's latest baking blessing. So now it is time to do some apologizing and backtracking.
Last week I did not abandon my baking ministry. I baked on Sunday afternoon in preparation for Monday morning's Women's Connection Bible study. I decided to try out a new recipe, frosted banana bars. Once again I found banana inspiration while looking at my kitchen counter.
I am convinced that no one goes to the store to buy bananas that they intend to bake with. We all buy bananas expecting to eat them in a fruit salad or the old fashioned way, hand held and peeled, one bite at a time. But, alas, there always seem to be those few neglected bananas that spoil before they can be enjoyed as a snack in their pure, unbaked state. Those forgotten bananas, riddled with brown spots, become the perfect addition to a culinary adventure, especially a culinary adventure that includes lots of sugar and cream cheese frosting.
Enter: frosted banana bars.
Last weekend gazing at rotting bananas I heard them call out, begging to be baked. And so I heeded the call from my counter and preheated the oven. Thirty minutes later my bars were perfectly browning and smelling of caramelized banana. The scent alone said, "yum." With the addition of cream cheese frosting the bars were complete and a hit, too. They were a perfect accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee. And, to top of their sweet goodness, they could almost be called healthy. After all they did contain a fruit!
The creation of the banana bars got me to thinking about making the most out of the gifts and talents each of us have been given. Bananas are a great picture of the 1 Peter 4:10 command: "...use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."
So, if God gives you bananas, use bananas. If God gives you a love for baking, then use baking. If God gives you a love for teaching, then use teaching. There isn't a one size fits all ministry but there is a one size fits all God.
Jesus died for all and His gospel is for all but how He will use each of us to spread His message of salvation will be unique. He distributes different talents to different people so that He can use each of us in a unique, individualized way to further His kingdom.
Maybe you survey your life, abilities and talents and come up short, wondering what you have to offer as a ministry or service to God's kingdom. Friend, I assure you that God has blessed you with unique gifts that He wants to use to spread His Gospel. Just look at it this way, if He can use rotten bananas then He can use you. Look past the limitations you see and allow God to show you how He can use what little we have to offer to make much of Him. He'll do it with bananas, He'll do with whatever we give Him if we give it wholeheartedly and in complete surrender.
Once again this week's baking ministry provided another unexpected lesson. God can use the gifts you and I have been given, no matter how great or how miniscule, to bless and serve others. And what's more, He loves to use us to bless others. It is a command He gives us and a duty He has entrusted to us. We are to be His hands and feet, using whatever we have been given to make much of the magnificent name of Jesus.
So use whatever you have on hand to spread the message of Christ's love to the lost, hurting and hungry. And if you have rotting bananas then I suggest you try out these banana bars.