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Chocolate Cake Christians

How to share the sweetness of Jesus with those who need to hear about Him. 

A slice of chocolate cake. Photo by ellisfoto, Thinkstock.

I used to teach 7th grade boys in Sunday school. I often got comments of sympathy when I mentioned that, but I loved those wiggly, goofy guys. It was a metamorphosis each year as I watched them grow from little boys into young men.

When I first started teaching them, it only took a few weeks to realize that I’d need some innovative ideas to keep their attention, so I came up with the idea of doing object lessons.

The boys waited with anticipation each Sunday morning to see what we were going to do that day. One Sunday I brought rocks and water and taught them about Baal’s prophets. For another class I came decked out with fishing gear and taught them about being fishers of men.

But one of my favorite memories with them was of “Chocolate Cake Sunday.”

I took a covered cake carrier one Sunday. I held it in front of me and said, “Boys, do any of you like chocolate cake?” I had to quieten them as loud whoops and “Yeahs!” echoed around the room.

I said, “Oh good, because I want you to have some chocolate cake this morning.” They all grinned and poked each other with excitement.

I then handed out a cup of cocoa powder to one young man, a bowl of eggs to another, and then containers with flour, oil, sugar and all the other ingredients to each boy. They looked at me in puzzlement and disappointment. “What is this? We thought we were having chocolate cake.”

I smiled as I told them, “That is chocolate cake. I know it doesn’t look like it now, but without adding all those ingredients, you won’t end up with a delicious chocolate cake.”

We talked about the individual ingredients and how each of them had a purpose, such as the sugar adding sweetness and the flour holding the batter together.

We discussed what the cake went through in the process as the ingredients were put in a bowl and then beat with a mixer. We talked about how the batter was put into pans and placed in a hot oven. 

Then I shared with them how that chocolate cake mirrors our lives. Sometimes there are sweet times–like the sugar that goes into the cake. Sometimes there are bitter times, like the cocoa when eaten by itself.

Other times when we go through hard times, we feel like we’re being beaten–just like the batter in the bowl.

Finally, we talked about how it was necessary for the cake batter to go into a hot oven. Sometimes as Christians we feel the heat of hard times, of circumstances where we feel like we’re being put through a hot oven of trials.

Just like I had a plan for that chocolate cake, God knows exactly what ingredients to put into our lives and how long we need to be tried in the oven of hard times so that we can go out and carry the sweetness of Jesus to a world that need to know about Him.

Looking at their faces throughout the room, I could tell the boys got it–especially when I removed the lid from the cake carrier and revealed a chocolate cake for them to enjoy.

Some of those young men are now grown, some with children of their own. I love it when they come to me and tell me that they’ve never forgotten those object lessons.

I’m so glad that God etched those moments into their hearts and minds, that they realized that even when life doesn’t make sense–just like those individual ingredients for the chocolate cake–that God has a purpose and plan for each thing He brings into our lives.

And if any of those ingredients–those life circumstances–are missing, the final result is a disappointment. I hope God keeps working on me so I’ll be a beautiful chocolate cake Christian someday, so I’ll be able to share the sweetness of Jesus with those who need to hear about Him. How about you? 

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8)

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