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Microwave Faith
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By Darlene Turner

What does the Bible have in common with a microwave? Give up? Almost every household in North America owns both. Although one is probably opened more than the other.

They are both used as a quick fix. People today are too busy to properly heat food, so it's popped into a microwave, a few buttons are pushed and voila—instant heat. How about the Bible? Again, people have too many other things to do in the course of a day, preventing them from taking time to devour God's word. Instead, they pick up a devotional with a Bible verse attached and presto—instant faith. Can it last?

The microwave heats up nicely, but it quickly cools off and turns cold. A faith that isn't deeply rooted can do the same thing. When tough times arrive, a microwaved faith can turn cold rapidly and crumble.

Cooking on the stovetop enriches the flavour of a meal. Simmering on a low heat can turn a recipe into a delightful mouth-watering feast. Using the microwave zaps the nutrients out of a meal and it tastes bland.

Compare that to faith. God's promises, instructions, teaching passages, and encouraging words are the nutrients of the Bible. Spending quality time with God and really getting to know Him through His word and prayer helps faith to grow bit-by-bit, and in turn becomes steadfast and lasting.

How can today's Christian simmer instead of microwaving their faith? Here are a few simple reminders.

Personal devotions.

Turn off the television, computer, Xbox, and open a Bible. Talk to Jesus as if He were in the same room. He's a friend who wants our undivided attention. Remember, friendships don't happen overnight. Pick a time during the day to spend with Him and stick with it. Journal your prayers. Sometimes our minds wander during prayer—writing them down gives focus.

Worship Him.

Listen to worship music and really take in the words. Sing like no one is listening. Take a walk and talk to God. It's not only great exercise, it's also a perfect time to get rid of distractions from home and concentrate on Him. Pray for others. Friends and family need prayers. They're struggling too.

Deep dive into His word.

Get involved in a Bible study. Dissect His word with the help of others. Bouncing questions and ideas off each other is a great way to learn more about Him. Find a ministry in the church.

Memorize scripture.

Putting verses to memory is an excellent way to deepen faith. We never know when we'll need one during rough times or when witnessing.

Reach out to those in need.

There are many fellow believers as well as non-believers who can use a helping hand. Make a shut-in supper. Send an encouraging note to someone who is going through a divorce. Give a coffee to a homeless person.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way of a growing steadfast faith. Tragedies happen, couples get divorced, loved ones are lost to cancer. Christians need to learn from these situations. Choose to see the gifts in all circumstances–good and bad. Then, faith will grow instead of turning cold. Yes, it's not easy, but God gives the strength needed.

A steadfast faith needs to simmer over a period of time and grow through tough struggles. There will be ups and downs. God doesn’t expect perfection or that His children will get it right the first time. He knows mistakes will be made. He just wants complete devotion and trust.

Don't heat up faith by microwaving it. Take time to savour God and His word.