The ingredients used in bread baking all play an important part in the quality of bread produced.
1. Start with an empty bread pan, ready to be filled with ingredients.
(Just as God takes us - ready ... and needing to be filled.)
2. YEAST - a form of plant life - it will grow and multiply when the conditions are favourable.
(Yeast represents the WORD of GOD - a necessary ingredient. When we make the conditions favourable in our lives then the Word of God can grow and multiply.)
3. FLOUR - the main ingredient. Use white, wholemeal, gluten or any other type of flour.
(This is us - our personalities - what makes us unique.)
4. SUGAR - provides food for the yeast and helps the yeast to ferment and promotes continued yeast action. It also provides "sweetness".
(We all need sweetness - God's favour and blessings in our life to promote continued action of the Word of God in us.)
5. SALT - gives the bread a more even texture. It controls the action of the yeast by inhibiting enzyme activity. Reducing the salt will mean the bread will have a weak gluten structure.
(The salt here represents the attacks from the enemy - under the controlled supervision of our heavenly father - these will keep us on the alert. If we try and minimise these by running away we will be weak in character.)
6. FATS - this is to soften the bread and enhance the flavour and richness. Although the addtion of fat is not essential, bread made without fat will have less flavour and will not keep as well.
(This is God's anointing. Some christians try and leave it out but they will have less flavour and not keep as well. With it we will be enhancing the flavour and richness in our lives).
7. LIQUID - this is important to breadmaking - a small change in quantity may cause the bread not to rise and may affect the texture.
(Refreshing water - we must have it and if we don't take time out to be refreshed it will affect us spiritually, physically and emotionally.)
8. Once all the ingredients are in the pan, it is then placed in the breadmaker and the lid is closed. Switch it on, the process now begins.
(Isn't that so like God. He wants us to draw deep into Him out of the sight of others so He can begin the process of making us Christ-like - "Hidden in Christ".)
9. The blade starts into action - mixing and kneading. All the ingredients are being tossed and blended. They are beginning to react and respond.
(Just as it is with us in our everyday life - mixing our personalities with the Word of God, the anointing, refreshing times, the attacks of the enemy and God's favour and blessings.)
10. The process seems to take forever but eventually the blade stops ... but only for a few moments .... then starts again with its relentless turning and twisting and when all the ingredients are well blended together into one mass, the temperature begins to rise ... and so does the bread.
(When we face challenges that gets us hot and stirred up, we begin to rise - if we have the right ingredients, we will rise to face them God's way - resting inbetween.)
11. It seems like an eternity, then all of a sudden there is a gas release and the bread falls back to its original size again.
(God assist us when we get too puffed up - we need to be humbled.)
12. The temperature begins to rise again, even hotter than before and the bread rises to its fullest height. The molecular structure of the initial ingredients have changed. The buzzer goes off and the bread is ready to come out.
(When we are ready - changes have taken place.)
13. With padded gloves, we handle with care, and gently remove the bread from the breadmaker, shake vigorously so the bread will come away from the pan and then place it on a wire rack to cool off. The aroma entices people to come and marvel at this wonderful creation.
Once cooled completely, it then takes the prominent place at the table. Some will love it, some will not - but still it takes the centre place. Then slowly and deliberately, hands reach out and tenderly breaks the bread to give out to those who are hungry.
(So it is with us - when we have allowed God to change us, mould and make us, mix and blend us and we have reached our fullest potential - we are ready to be used. We will be handled gently, shaken vigorously, put aside to cool off, people will be draw to us, some may even marvel. We will take a prominent place and some will love us, some will not, but in the centre we will stay. When we think our purpose has been fulfilled, God will slowly and deliberately reach out with tender loving hands and break us ... and then, maybe, we are ready to feed those about us who hunger... )