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SELF-RISING...is a type of flour and in Tennessee it was, for us, Martha White. There is all-purpose and self-rising. Certain recipes call for one or the other. To convert all-purpose to self-rising at home, just add some baking powder and salt. Check a recipe before you do it. Frankly, I like anything with flour in it, especially if it turns into a biscuit (and gravy). My Grandma Dotson made the very best. It was crisp on the bottom, brown on the crescent top and soft and fluffy in the center. Add freshly churned butter with some homemade preserves or molasses, who cares what else you’re eating! Now you can see my addiction!


It is not always used in baking. Some of the least known uses are: to make play and cloud dough, DIY glue, natural fabric stiffeners, dry shampoos, rice flour masks and natural acne serums. Other uses are deterring ants, buffing your stainless steel, polishing copper and renewing a deck of cards. Many gardeners swear by an old, all-natural pest control tip. Make those pesky critters disappear by just simply sprinkling squash or potato plants with a fine layer of flour. And you thought it was only for baking bread. Now, admit it-aren’t you glad you decided to read this today?


In some of my most recent devotionals one subject matter keeps showing up for my consideration; that of dying to self. Is God onto something better for me than my bread addictions? I was grocery shopping recently and when I passed the section of baking goods, I noticed the self-rising flour products. Right then, the thought struck me–Bill, that is who you are and have, for the most part, always been-self-rising! It has mostly been about me, promoting me, giving rise to self. It is just like God to use the most mundane things to teach us what He wants for us in our lives. But at the self-rising flour section of Tom Thumb–give me a break!


In baking, it is the ingredients that cause the dough to rise. It’s what’s inside! Then it really hit me. All that ego, self-hero worship, getting your own way no matter what or who it hurts-these, and many more, give rise to self. Unlike a wonderful biscuit, it ain’t a pretty sight, nor is it very tasty to others. Nor does it leave room for God in us or to be seen in us.

This verse will deflate your biscuits! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” (Mt. 23:25)

You can’t put the wrong ingredients in the recipe and expect good results. I am a product of what resides in my heart and mind. Jesus nailed it. “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murders, theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mk. 7:20-23). Even a born again, fallen sinner has the old nature still residing within his heart. Self-enthronement is what I/we battle daily; and I mean daily! John the Baptist said that he must decrease so Jesus, the Christ must increase. It is the only solution.


‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mt. 16:24). The crosses we are asked to take up are God’s primary way of eliminating self within us. Less of me and more of Him is the prescription for a victorious life! Jesus says for us to deny ourselves–why? Because we make room for Him which is far, far better than what we are storing up in us that we feel makes us happy or gives us a false sense of control of our lives. The sad part about our self-centeredness is that we miss the true joy of living abundant lives as a true disciple. “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:27)


Do you and I want all things good, or even great? The longer we battle giving up our self-rising nature, the longer we miss His best. God wrote the recipe for life, for us! He wants us to trust Him, yielding to Him by faith. Would the flour say to the baker, “I can handle this alone-stand back, watch me rise!” No, nor should we. It is a formula for failure. Our Baker knows just the right ingredients and the amounts to put in to produce a selfless and victorious life. This verse says it best. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)


We cannot make ourselves selfless. It would even be selfish to believe we could.God knows that. The cross of Jesus assured us that by grace He would take on that chore of emptying us of ourselves, by faith, so we might live for Him. Every cross He allows to come into your life is another loving ingredient by the Master Baker who went to the extreme to assure you He is worth giving up yourself to gain Him. Give me some of those biscuits! Sorry, Ma Dotson, after all these years, I finally found a better recipe!


Copyright 2015

Bill C. Dotson



Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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