TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• A few weeks ago, my mom gave me some of my Great-mommy’s cast iron cookware. I don’t have a clue how old it is. Great-mommy and Great Papa were married in 1930 so I’m assuming she obtained it in the early years of their marriage and more than likely, it wasn’t new then. I remember her using it… Great-mommy was an incredible cook. I was 14 when she died and even 30 years after her death, I still say her cornbread is the best I’ve ever eaten.
Here’s the problem… These cast iron pieces have been in the hands of my great uncle (who I never knew to cook beyond making sandwiches or heating up canned stuff) and, most unfortunately, my grandmother. My grandmother hated to cook (and it showed) and she never followed the appropriate rules when it came to caring for her mother’s cast iron cookware. Translation: Mamo washed them with soap and water.
I know. The horror, right? I have a feeling that Mamo had some explaining to do to Great-Mommy when they were reunited in heaven.
So, I’ve inherited three very heavy and rusty pieces of cookware that I’ve been trying to get cleaned up and ready to be put back to work. I haven’t started the seasoning process yet because I’m still trying to get the rust off the pans. I admit it was tempting to pull a page from my grandmother’s book and just use some dish detergent on the rust! But I promise I didn’t do that. I ordered some cast iron soap and a stainless steel chain-link washrag from Amazon. I’m starting to see some progress and will probably start the seasoning process this weekend.
It’s occurred to me how much we can relate to the care of a cast iron skillet.
When we read John 3:16, it almost seems too simple. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That’s it? We just have to believe in Jesus and we have eternal life? It seems too simple. Many doubt it because they think salvation should be more complicated. They don’t trust the simplicity of it.
My grandmother didn’t trust the decades of experience that cast iron cookware could (and should be) be cleaned without soap. She felt that if the pan wasn’t scrubbed with bubbles, it wasn’t clean. And in her efforts, she exhausted herself for no reason. And eventually (insert sounds of crying), she even put the cast iron in the dishwasher. Bless her heart.
But the care of cast iron isn’t complicated. And neither is our salvation or forgiveness for sins.
We are the ones who make it hard. Jesus made it easy: Believe in Him and His blood makes us clean. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
I understand the temptation to want to use a steel wool scrubber on our hearts. We know how ugly our sin is… but here’s the good news… so does God. We know how impure we are… but here’s the good news… so does God. We can’t fully understand how the simple choice to believe can make us clean… but here’s the good news… that’s how simple God made it for us. It’s simple. But not always easy.
We don’t need to earn anything and try to over complicate the matter. As it says in my favorite verses, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
So stop trying so hard and take God at His Word! He gave us these simple instructions thousands of years ago and they are true today. We need to trust that when we believe, we have been made clean.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the simplicity of salvation. Thank Jesus for His cleansing blood! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust and believe, knowing that your good works are to honor Him, not to clean yourself. Ask Him to help you have faith in the simple beauty of His amazing grace.
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