Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Rom. 12:11)

THE PIANIST COULDN’T HEAR the beeping over her music, so she had asked her husband to stay close to the kitchen. When he heard the timer for the cookies, he went in and hit the “off” button. She finished practicing and came out to view her cookies. Where was the smell she anticipated? Seeing that the cookies weren’t done, she closed the oven door, set the timer for ten minutes, and went to garden. Ten minutes later, the cookies still hadn’t finished baking. The “fire” had died out, but no one knew. The “off” button turned off the timer, but it also turned off the oven. The chill in the oven explained the story to the couple. Although the rest of the batch was properly baked, the couple said the cookies represented the “half-baked” side of life.

In Romans we’re told to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. That requires some fire, and some time. But without it, our lives would be as limp and cold as half-baked cookies. It’s much better to leave the fire turned up when God is making something good.

When trials come, do you keep it hot? Do you keep focused and trust the Holy Spirit to work, or do you shut off the oven, becoming cold and lacking in zeal? Ask God to turn up the heat.

Choose one way to keep the fire hot today.

Mollie Bond works in radio as an assistant producer. Watching snowflakes slows her down. Otherwise she is at church or with her cat, Charlie.