“This is the best pork I’ve ever tasted,” my husband said. I almost gasped. Matt is always appreciative of my cooking but a compliment like that – well, I believe it was the first of its kind in our 13 years of marriage. I took a bite and had to agree. Pork loin with apple compote is going to become a regular in our house.
The Gem in the Mailbox
A couple of months ago, while sifting through the mail I found a cooking magazine. I almost tossed it with the other junk mail but decided to give it a look. Inside I found recipes, but it wasn’t a typical cookbook. Before each recipe, the cook gave a detailed description of how he/she came up with the recipe. Included were all the fails, reasons for the failures, adjustments made, and why certain methods were chosen. Many times he/she would mention the science behind a step, such as brining, or seasoning, or doing something a particular way.
I cooked two recipes in that book – including the pork and apples – and both were wonderful. So I ordered a subscription. (Marketing win on their part.)
As I began to try other recipes, I realized that I was getting more than just recipes; I was learning how to cook. I understood the “whys” behind certain cooking methods. I learned tricks I had never known before. Much of what I was learning was teaching me what I could use in all of my cooking, not just the recipes provided.
More than a Recipe
In contemplating this, I realized: this is what I want my writing and teaching to be. I don’t want to just provide recipes for your Christian life. Metaphorically speaking, I want to teach you to cook. I want to inspire you to search out Scripture, to carve time to spend with God each day. I want to challenge you to think beyond your norm.
I think sometimes we can take the message of Christian teachers like the attractive recipes on Pinterest. Just give us what we need for the day or for our situation.
But I’m not going to learn on my own by relying solely on someone else’s wisdom. Their insights should be the springboard, leading us to deeper faith. They shouldn’t be end themselves.
More than Surface Knowledge
We also should be careful from whom we receive messages. I don’t know how many Pinterest recipes I’ve tried that were either a complete flop or were just so-so. They certainly didn’t make it to my recipe regulars. The great thing about my new cooking magazine is the authors know how to cook, inside and out. Their scientific reasoning behind their cooking amazes me.
In the same way, we want to listen to teachers who know the Scripture from beginning to end. We don’t want teachers who will just string together verses to fit the topic without keeping in context the entirety and scope of the Word. Pray for discernment as you read blogs, devotionals, and books.
The purpose behind any communicator of the Word should be not simply to give you a recipe for the day but to come alongside you and teach you to cook–to inspire you to want to dig in, to teach you to explore the Word yourself.
What YOU learn between you and the Lord and His Word will be the tastiest delicacy you’ve ever tried.
Last week I was honored to contribute to the My Journey of Faith Daily Devotionals. Each of these devotionals was birthed out of my personal reading in John. If you would like to read them, they are linked below. And if you would like to receive these daily devotionals from MJOF writers daily, you’ll find a link at the bottom of the posts.
So, We Serve: Why do we serve God? In looking back at areas where I serve, I can see all sorts of motives: because it’s expected of me, because I’m supposed to, because I’ve been asked, because no one else will do it, because I see a need and I want to meet it, because I want to feel like I’m making a difference, because I love the person whom I’m serving, because I want to please God…. (Click here to read more.)
Ask Me Anything: Maybe it’s my conservative Baptist roots, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with verses like these. I’ve seen people misuse these “name it, claim it” verses as if God is their own personal genie who only wants to make us happy. So most of the time I skip right over these words instead of looking more closely at them. ….(Click here to read more.)
Do I Love Him? Do I love my husband? Of course I do. How do I show it? Normally, when I want to show my husband I love him, I’ll make an extra effort to do something that is important to him. For instance, he enjoys a clean home. So many times when I begin to clean – knowing that with 2 children it will never be perfect all the time – I look around the house and choose what I think would be most important to him. Clutter bothers him but he couldn’t care less about closets. So I work on picking up. Sticky counters drive him crazy but he’s never complained about the shower. So I spray and wipe down the counters. I show him I love him by caring about what he cares about. …. (Click here to read more.)
Eternal Life: What comes to your mind when you think of eternal life? My mind immediately goes to life after death. I picture heaven, seeing Jesus face to face, and having no fear or sorrow. That is what eternal life has always meant to me. But here Jesus says that eternal life is…. (Click here to read more.)
Glorifying God: Do you ever get overwhelmed, wondering if you’re doing enough for God? We want to glorify God, but when does that actually occur? Is there a magic number of things we do that surpasses that “glorifying God” threshold? …. (Click here to read more.)
One: Jesus prayed for future believers. That’s you. That’s me. And what do you think he prayed for? That we would be filled with the Spirit? That we would do amazing works? That we would boldly proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth? Jesus spent seven verses praying for us, and in those seven verses, he prayed the same prayer four times….. (Click here to read more.)
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