Loved and Forgiven

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Jesus I hate to admit it, but sometimes, I knowingly exceed the freeway speed limit. I’ve rationalized breaking the law by thinking I’m keeping up with traffic, or the posted speed limit is a suggestion. I didn’t consider a little bit of rebellion as sin. It seemed harmless, but thanks to a bowl of oatmeal, I’ve reconsidered my thoughts.

I scooped out a steamy portion of homemade oatmeal into a bowl and added a little almond milk. Oatmeal isn’t oatmeal if you don’t add walnuts, cranberries, raisins and fresh blueberries. I remembered I had cinnamon in the cupboard, so I reached into the top-shelf and began to sprinkle what I thought was cinnamon. It looked different. I looked at the label, and it read, Organic No-Salt Seasoning.

SpicesGood grief, I couldn’t believe I didn’t check the label first—both jars looked identical. Instead of cinnamon I added “a blend of 21 organic spices and ingredients from around the world.”  Oh well, it was just a little bit. I added extra cinnamon to mask the undesired seasoning and began to eat the oatmeal. My taste buds sent signals to my brain: onion, garlic, pepper and basil. 

A little bit of seasoning left such residue. With every bite, I thought about the little bit of leaven that causes the dough to rise. You don’t need much to affect the entire batch of dough. In scripture, leaven is a metaphor for corruption. I was starting to feel convicted.

“A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough,” (Galatians 5:9 New American Standard Bible).

In this verse Paul warns the Galatians to watch for false teachers that could prevent many from receiving the Gospel message of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Or, corruption could compromise truth throughout the Body of Christ. I began to consider a thought. What about this body? Was I willing to leave a little leaven in my heart? Just because I hadn’t received a speeding ticket, didn’t mean it was okay for me to speed.

The interesting thing about leaven, or yeast, it’s a living organism. Did I want sin living in me? The only thing I want spiritually living in this body is Jesus Christ. I am so thankful Jesus paid the price for my sins, (Click to Tweet) but I don’t want to take His grace lightly.

I’m not perfect, but I’m willing to change. My love may be spiritually immature, but my heart remains resolved to love God wholeheartedly. (Click to Tweet) A bowl of oatmeal, mistakenly topped with uncomplimentary spices, was a sweet kiss from heaven that reminded me I need a lesson in submission. But more importantly, it reminded me I was loved and forgiven.      

“Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 NASB).

Have a blessed weekend.

Marisa Shadrick

Areacre © Crestock


New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.
“What Is Yeast?” Explore Yeast – All You Have to Know about Yeasts. Accessed November 08, 2013.

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