Baking a Religious Cake

"Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the instructions of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local altars." 1 Kings 3:3 NLT

Separately, the ingredients would be distasteful, but together, they are sumptuous.

Of all the types of cakes my wife cooks, pound cake is my favorite. Hours are invested in making sure it turns out just right. Various ingredients are blended together at certain points rather than mixed all together at once.

Eggs, milk, flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and flavoring are mixed together. Of all the ingredients, milk is the only one I would consume by itself. Eggs would have to be cooked, flour and butter would have to be basted, and sugar and flavoring would have to be added to something else.

Secularism is the attempt to separate government and those who represent it from religion and religious institutions. We might term it separation of church and state, but it's actually an attempt to compartmentalize life. King Solomon went to the other extreme. He worshipped God, but he also worshipped at the local altars, which means he pandered after the local gods. Many people thought this was necessary for their crops and families to produce abundantly. Later, Solomon would even marry unbelieving women from other nations to form political alliances.

Neither secularism in the present nor King Solomon in the past got it right. The Bible speaks of separation and conjoining. If I compartmentalize my life, I miss out on what God wants me to do. I won't be a light shining into a sin darkened world, but neither will I believe my secular life has any bearing on my worship of God.

God's overarching purpose is to blend the various ingredients of our lives together so that we are formed into His Son's image. We are created in the image of God-an image, albeit, that has been wrecked by sin. Through forgiveness of our sins and submissiveness on our part to His plan, He blends the religious and secular ingredients of our lives together to make us little Christ's. While we don't melt into or become Christ-as butter does into the other cake ingredients, we should become like Him in word, action, and thought.

Have you been guilty of trying to separate the secular and religious ingredients of your life? Blend them together so you can produce a tasteful lifestyle that will impact others for Christ.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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