Luke Warm

Welcome  It’s January and it’s cold.  Well, actually we had a week of unseasonably warm temperatures.  On Monday, it was 65 degrees and I was able to do my Bible study sitting on our deck!  I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to do that in January!  But all good things come to an end, right?  We didn’t even reach 40 degrees today and the wind chill has been twenty-something all day.  And this weekend?  More snow!

Oh, well, it is winter after all.  And with winter comes hot chocolate season.  Yay!  So our devotional starts off with a simple cup of hot cocoa today.

Food For Thought  My daughter loves hot chocolate.  Well, so do I.  Who doesn’t, really?  Many times during the winter months, she will come home from school and ask for a cup of hot cocoa (with marshmallows) to be her after-school snack.  I fix it for her while she settles in with her nightly homework.  Once prepared, I set it down beside her, saying, “It’s hot. Let it cool a little.  But don’t wait too long or it will get cold.”

My daughter was notorious in her younger years for asking for a cup of hot chocolate only to let it sit on the table until it was room temperature, or worse, completely cold.  A few times she would ask me to taste it to see if it was cool enough.  Oh, yuck, tepid cocoa!

The thing about cocoa is, it needs to be served hot, as in a cup of steaming hot chocolate, or it needs to be served very cold, as in a chilled glass of chocolate milk or maybe an iced mocha for coffee drinkers.  But lukewarm cocoa does not take the chill off a cold winter’s day or even taste good for that matter.

When I experienced lukewarm cocoa, I had a better understanding, at least to some degree, of the words in Revelation 3:16 (NIV),

So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

The book of Revelation has been presented to me over the years as a confusing and highly symbolic book.  This may be true, but I think there are some very clear and unobstructed messages in the book, as well.  This passage is referred to a lot in religious circles, but it’s scary to think how many of us may not be taking it to heart.  I know this personally.

I had my own personal revelation with the lukewarm cocoa.  When the verse came to mind, I was personally neither hot nor cold in my spiritual walk.  And just like that tepid cocoa, I was disgusted with myself.  I wasn’t living boldly for Christ.  My faith wasn’t on fire.  There was no spark or passion for spreading God’s message.  Yet I claimed to be a “good Christian.”  Scripture is pretty clear in the third chapter of Revelation that God does not make room for fence-sitters in His kingdom.  I cannot live my life with zeal for the world while claiming a passion for God.  I have to decide…am I of this world or am I child of God?  My choices need to reflect one or the other.  It won’t work for both.

This is hard.  I know I can’t be perfect, but in my imperfections am I being lukewarm?  I hope not.  So now, every day, I am striving to live boldly for God.  Even if it has cost me friendships.  Even if I’m not the most popular person in the room.  Even if some people disagree with my faith-based opinions and choices.  Even if I’m labeled the “crazy” Jesus blogger.  Even if I have to give up material possessions and dreams of bigger and better.  Even if it’s uncomfortable.  Because nothing is more uncomfortable than thinking God may cast me aside because I was a lukewarm Christian.

Today’s Scripture

Today’s Recipe

It’s been a bit since I shared a recipe and I have to admit, today’s recipe is not my own. But I’ve been longing to try this recipe ever since I first saw it on Pinterest over a year ago. This recipe comes from Nicole at Wonky Wonderful. Her blog and website are great, so I encourage you to give it a visit. And this recipe for Hot Chocolate Fudge does not disappoint! Even better? It only uses four ingredients and the microwave! Hands-on time is so short, you won’t believe how fast you can prepare this treat for your next winter event. You will need two microwave-safe bowls, an 8×8 square pan, and two rubber spatulas.

Hot Chocolate Fudge

All you’re gonna need is 2 cups of dark chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips, a 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk, and some mini-marshmallows. To be honest, I didn’t even measure the marshmallows. I just scattered them across the top before popping in the fridge to set.

Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a microwave-safe bowl, place the white chocolate chips and five tablespoons of the milk; set aside.

In second bowl, place the dark chocolate chips and the remainder of the sweetened condensed milk. Microwave for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave and additional 15 seconds, remove and stir until smooth. Pour quickly into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Repeat the process with the bowl of white chocolate, pouring over the chocolate layer when melted and smooth.

Scatter marshmallows over the top of the white chocolate layer and press gently into the mixture. Refrigerate at least four hours before cutting into cubes. I spray my knife with cooking spray before cutting to prevent sticking. This is the perfect little indulgence for our upcoming snowy weekend.

Looking for some delicious hot chocolate recipes, too? Check out these favorites from faith-family-food.

Cookies and Cream Hot Chocolate

Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate