A Key Ingredient

Julia-ChildIn this age of reality TV there’s a vast array of channels with do-it-yourself (DIY) programs. Many of these are food-related and highlight the cooking skills of kitchen-famous chefs.

A pioneer of the DIY cooking was the Queen of Cuisine, Julia Childs. Aspiring chefs would jot down her mouth-watering and salvia-stimulating recipes and file them away for a special occasion.

Good recipes are the key to stirring-up some tasty treats, and even an inept cook can appear to be a polished chef when he measures and mixes according to a cookbook.

The recipe for a good and godly life is more likely to be found in the Bible than it is in a cookbook by Gordon Ramsay or Rachel Ray.  While your status as a cook can change by following a good recipe, your standing before God changes when you follow His Word. This is why we are encouraged to hide God’s Word in our hearts—it is the key ingredient to a robust and healthy spiritual life.

By the way, if you need to sweeten that favorite dish just a little, add a pinch of God’s Word—Its sweeter than honey and the honeycomb (Psalm 19:10).

A Sweet Aroma

young-chefI’ve never thought of myself as a gourmet chef, but when I need to I can prepare a decent meal.  I also know that if you add too much of one ingredient and not enough of another, a recipe can be ruined.

When Peter wrote his second letter, his advice was to never add-a-vice to your life.  Instead he advised people to add the right ingredients to their faith.  He said a compliment of “good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love” is a good recipe for life (I Peter 2:5-11).

I encourage you to devise a plan that can de-vice you of your vices, and I advise you to add-a-vise of strength to your faith.  When you add a cup of good character, and stir in some spiritual understanding, you might begin to smell the aroma of “passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love,” your life will have a sweet aroma that’s pleasing to God.

The Spice of Life

charleston_hot_peppers_white_background2This is the time of year that fresh produce is being grown in the gardens around town.  When the tomatoes ripen and the squash and zucchini are harvested, new recipes are tried as backyard chefs’ fire up their grills. The key ingredient to the success of these culinary endeavors is that special spice you add to the entrée as it simmers on the grill.

Is there a favorite spice you use when you cook?  Spices influence and change the flavor of food.  If you were the spice of life, how would your influence be experienced?

  • Would it be felt as true compassion or random passion?
  • Would you be experienced as a warming fire or dangerous and easily provoked ire?
  • Would your presence be recognized as sweet encouragement or bitter discouragement?

The difference between a good meal and a bad meal can be the difference between the right spice and a bad substitute.  If the recipe calls for sugar, you can’t expect to get good results if you substitute cayenne pepper.

The same is true will a spiritual counterfeit and a genuine servant of God.   The influence of one is positive and the influence of the other is negative.

Jesus said that you should “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned (Matthew 7: The Message).”

As the spice of life, are you genuine or a counterfeit?