Divine Recipes

Suggested Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

“All Scripture is…useful.” (2 Tim. 3:16)

The Bible is meant to be understood and followed as a whole, not solely in scattered parts. Look at Romans 8:28, the part about everything working out for my good is very pleasing to my taste-buds but what about verses 18-27? There I find content concerning suffering, future glory, weaknesses, and my great Intercessor. One verse is great, but consumed as a whole, it takes on new life, new meaning, and affects my heart the way it was intended.

I’ve discovered many books have provided unique applications when I understand the author, the audience, and the culture. All of these facts help paint a picture of the circumstances the passages were written under and enhance their purpose.

Can I take and eat a bell pepper?

Sure I can. In fact, I think they’re pretty tasty in their raw form.

But if I take the same pepper, follow the recipe,

 understand the other ingredients

 and use them as directed,

I create a masterpiece of delight for my taste-buds.

 

This not only pleases me, but those around me benefit.

The Bible is my recipe book for life. Each ingredient (verse) tastes good on its own and serves a purpose to my spiritual health, but when I choose to take the time to understand the entire recipe, how it fits together, what its completed picture looks like, and how to get there, the individual ingredients take on new life.

As I follow the recipe I get a result very similar to the original intent: a life manifesting the characteristics of Jesus, living under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Is the completed picture a perfect resemblance of the original?

No, it can’t be perfect, but it can be close!

One day the Master Chef will create in me that perfect glorified manifestation of his recipe book, and then I will look, feel, and taste exactly how I was meant to. Until then, I can follow the recipe as it was designed, as a whole, and resemble a likeness very similar to the One who created it.

People-Pleaser

Suggested Reading: Judges 8:22-27

What Sunday School hasn’t recounted the story of Gideon? He was called by God; he doubted; he looked for signs and he eventually defeated the Midianites without laying a hand on them. Gideon: what a hero! Even heroes fall when they take their eyes off the One who gave them their title.

All Israel prostituted themselves by worshipping [the ephod] there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.” (Judges 8:27)

This is the end of Gideon’s story. Just like Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 17-20), it ends on a sour note. Israel did have peace for forty years because of Gideon, but they also worhsipped idols. Gideon listened to the wrong voices. The people were so enamoured with what Gideon had accomplished they wanted him to rule. Rightly Gideon declared it was the Lord who would rule over them, not himself, (vs.23) but then the story takes a weird turn. After proclaiming the Lord’s rule over the people, Gideon asks them to hand over their jewelry which he proceeds to make an “ephod” out of. In an attempt to please both God and man, Gideon had a lapse in judgment by creating an idol the people would “prostitute” after.

Jesus tells us, “No one can serve two masters.” (Matt. 6:24)

We’re constantly going to hear voices from the world, family, friends, and other Christians, but the only voice that really matters is God’s. If we’re constantly trying to please people and God, something will falter; usually our spiritual walk. Let’s purpose to be God-pleasers; devoted to His truth and despising what opposes it.