The Gospel Project: A Gift for the Holidays

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As the holidays are nearing and the season of baking and Christmas tree decorating ensuing, it is proper that we make time to think about how we can reach out to others during this season. All too often we can easily slip into the frenzy of Christmas consumerism forgetting that Jesus really is the reason why we celebrate. I know I can. So in effort to make Jesus the center of our celebration during the holiday season, is it essential that others know about Him and who He truly is. We need to tell others of His love, His grace, His justice, His radical sacrifice for us on the cross, and His desire to see all men come to salvation through Him.

One way we can contribute to the cause of furthering the gospel is by merging the practice of evangelism with one of great prominence during the holidays: baking.

For a class assignment, I had to create a “gospel project” in order to create a means by which to share the gospel with others more effectively. Thinking about what I should do, I finally realized that I should just stick to what I like doing. Why not share the gospel in a way that accompanies my love of baking, helping me to be more intentional about who I share the gospel with?

So, this is just a simple idea of making holiday bread mix in a jar while trying to connect its meaning to the gospel in a way that gives the sharer the opportunity to share Christ with someone.

I hope you will join in baking bread this season, sharing with friends the true bread of life who is Jesus. Let us share the gospel with those who have yet to hear the good news.

Below is the recipe for replicating this bread mix as a gift, as well as a summary of the purpose of the product.

Please make for your neighbors, friends and family!

Enjoy!

Product: Jar of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread Mix, as a gift to a non-Christian, with attached recipe for the recipient to make the bread and attached gospel paraphrase.

The jar reads “Jesus is the Bread of Life” as an introduction into the gospel, connecting the gift of the bread mix to the purpose of the gift: to share the gospel. The attachment to the Jar includes a short paraphrase of the gospel message. This is intended to be a conversation starter between the giver and recipient regarding Christ’s love for him or her and God’s desire for a real relationship with that person. This gift strives to reveal the connection between physical bread and the incarnate Christ as the bread of life. This further indicates that in our humanity we are in need of “bread,” or food, to function normally and how this basic need is only a shadow of our ultimate need –a spiritual need– which can only be satisfied in Jesus. Thus, our souls will die if we never eat of the eternal bread of life, which is Jesus Christ. We are in desperate need for Jesus to give us life that is only found in Him, and nothing else.

Purpose: This jar of bread mix is meant to be given as a gift to a non-Christian in establishing friendship and demonstrating hospitality, while initiating a way for the giver to talk to the non-Christian about Jesus in a non-threatening way. The giver will articulate the connection between the purpose of eating physical bread and the necessity of partaking of eternal, spiritual bread which is found in Christ. The giver will point out the gospel paraphrase which is attached to the jar, sharing the gospel with the non-Christian in his or her own words, even sharing his or her own testimony of salvation.

Recipe for the giver (who wishes to make this again for others): This product is meant to be repeated as many times as one wishes.

  1. Find or buy a tall mason jar or milk bottle.
  2. Gather the follow ingredients for layering in the jar or bottle:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Prepare a card/sheet with the Gospel Paraphrase given below. Attach with string or   ribbon to jar.
  2. Prepare a card/sheet with the Recipe for Recipient “Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread” given below. Attach to jar.
  3. Prepare a top label reading, “Jesus is the Bread of Life.”
  4. Decorate further, if you wish.
  5. Give the final product and share the gospel with a non-Christian friend.

Gospel paraphrase: (attached to jar in the following format minus the ending verses, which are for the giver/sharer’s own reference):

Opening Question (only on the jar): What kind of bread do we have in our life?

Our Problem:

Humanity has fallen short of God’s holiness by trying to satisfy our needs in ways that just don’t work. This results from our innate sin that separates us from a holy God. The “bread of our own efforts” will never satisfy and never complete us.

*Verses for reference: Romans 3:23, Genesis 3:22, Romans 1:18, Isaiah 64:6, Psalm 51:5, Isaiah 53:6, Ephesians 2:9

God’s Solution:

God provided a solution to redeem us of our innate sin and bring us into eternal union with Him by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. Because Jesus Christ is “the bread of life” that satisfies and the perfect sacrifice, Jesus can satisfy our separation with God, even despite us causing the separation to being with. Jesus can and will save us if we choose to respond to Him.

*Verses for reference: Romans 5:8, Hebrews 2:17, Isaiah 53:5, & 10, 1 Peter 1:20-21, Romans 6:23

My response:

God will redeem my sin when I acknowledge that I indeed am separated from God as a result of my own sin and need Jesus to cover my sins. I must acknowledge that “I cannot live on physical bread alone” but “I need the true bread of life,” which is Jesus Christ. I can choose to surrender my entire life to Jesus Christ, choosing to let Him alone be my Lord and sustainer, abandoning all other false sustainers in my life. Then God will be faithful to forgive me and bring me into eternal union with Him.

*Verses for reference: Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16, Deut. 8:3, Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 6:35, Exodus 20:31 John 1:9

Recipe for Recipient (attached to jar):

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread

  1. Mix together the contents of this jar:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Beat together 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup melted butter.
  2. Stir this mixture together with the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Scrape into a buttered and floured 9 X 5-inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350° about 50 minutes (until you can test with a toothpick or knife and it comes out clean).
  5. Enjoy!

And yes…I will gladly bring out the Christmas music! Enjoy, friends.

“Joy To The World” by Jeremy Camp

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