July 13, 2017
And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. – Luke 13:20-21
Someone gave me a sourdough starter about ten years ago. When you want a loaf of sourdough bread, you add several ingredients to the starter to make dough for baking. And you always save and maintain a bit of the starter for future loaves. When you add equal parts of flour and milk to the starter, it activates the whole mass and grows bigger.
This was actually the second time I had received a sourdough starter, but I neglected the first one and it eventually went bad. My new starter was not properly cared for either—it was left inside an airtight container in the vegetable drawer of our refrigerator for quite a few days. Finally I remembered it, but when I took the lid off the container, it did not look so good. When you do not use the starter, it just sits there, and after a while the moisture rises to the top and it becomes discolored. I decided to try and salvage the part that was not discolored, so I scooped off the bad part, stirred in some flour and milk, and set it on the counter with the lid on tight.
The next day when I went to check on my starter, something had happened, and it was just what I had hoped would happen. The lid had popped off! That let me know the starter was still good, because it had reacted to the new flour and milk. If a starter is healthy, something should be happening inside of it so you cannot keep a lid on it. I put the lid back on my starter, and before I left the house that morning it had popped off again. It was quite healthy!
This is what Jesus was talking about in our focus verse. The Gospel is like a starter; it is constantly working and causing reactions in our hearts, until every part of our lives have been affected. Something stirs within, and it will spill over. We cannot keep it covered up! If we do, it is like leaving a starter in the vegetable drawer; eventually it will rot and be wasted. But if we use what God has given us, and add to it by exposing ourselves to more of the Gospel, it will grow. It will rise up in our hearts and spill over to bless those around us!
If we are careful not to neglect the gift God has given us, then nothing will hinder His Spirit from moving in our lives, and spilling over to others also.