Nothing beats sitting down to a hot, steamy meal full of flavor, texture, and rich aroma. Just a few hours earlier, that meal was only a bunch of raw ingredients. Through the magic of a recipe came a meal folks will talk about for weeks. God’s Word is much like a cookbook.
God’s recipe book
The Bible is a living book. It is not just history or how-to guides. It is an accurate historical record written by eyewitnesses. Spiritual transformations changed lives forever. The record of these events and the promises about them come to life for us today as we open the pages of God’s Cookbook.
A good cook records an exceptional dish on a recipe card. She might pin it on Pinterest, and suddenly that same meal appears on tables in homes all over the country. Sounds like magic, but that is what happens in the kitchen. Even better, spiritual feasts are recorded in God’s Word. Simply reading the text and following the instructions lets you recreate the wonder of that first event.
Take Jesus’ death and resurrection for example. You were not there. You did not experience this event. However, since God provided a written record of this, we can read the story and experience it as well. No, we do not go back to a hillside near Jerusalem, but we encounter the life-changing power of His resurrection. The full aroma of His victory over sin infuses our lives as we mix it with faith (Hebrews 4:2) and add in other ingredients such as self-control, good character, and Bible knowledge (II Peter 1:5-7). The Good Cookbook even guarantees delicious results if we follow the instructions (II Peter 1:8-10).
Now, let’s see what you have to bring God. Um,… nothing! You do not have the ingredients it takes to cook up any kind of heavenly dish. In our earthly existence, we can only make mud pies. Fortunately, He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (II Peter 1:4). We bring Him what He already gave us and return it according to His recipe.
Some people say, “I tried Christianity and it did not work for me.” I have seen my kids try recipes from their mom’s cookbook and things came out horribly. The post-dramatic stress counseling brings out the problem: “Oh! It said use a tablespoon? I used a teaspoon.” Or “That was a jar of salt? It sure looked like sugar.” If the Christian faith does not work for you, it is not the recipe’s fault.
In our home, I had burned the brownies, so to speak. I to reread the family recipe in God’s Word to see what I missed. The scripture formula for a joyful home called for several things which were lacking from our home. I began implementing what God called for and found the recipe works perfectly:
win the children’s hearts (Proverbs 23:26; Malachi 4:6)
cherish my wife (Ephesians 5:25-33; I Peter 3:7)
lead instead of control (Mark 10:42-45; I Peter 5:3)
integrate God’s Word into daily life (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 6:4).
Is life feeling a little burned around the edges? Feel like you are hating life? I went through that for a few months until I found another award-winning recipe: stop speaking evil (I Peter 3:10). I quit talking about the bad news, complaining about the weather, and criticizing others. I started finding things to be thankful about and encouraging things to share. My life changed almost overnight.
The most important recipe
The story of those who first entered the church shows us the recipe for entering the kingdom as well. Read Acts chapter 2. After a week-long prayer meeting, the Spirit fell and they spoke in languages they had not learned from anyone else (Acts 2:4). They baptized new believers in Jesus’ Name after they repented of their sins (Acts 2:38-39). Then they separated themselves from the evil world(Acts 2:40). Too many churches have missed this recipe—the only one for a true church (Acts 2:42).
The world is hungry. Let’s open the Book, roll up our sleeves, and spread a feast sinners can come and devour.