Saturday, April 29, 2017

Now You're Cooking!

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

-- Matthew 10:8

Think of them as hours of low-calorie entertainment.

They're those cooking shows on cable TV found on channels ranging from The Food Network to The Cooking Channel and all the way to Bravo. And whether it's Top Chef or Chopped or even Cutthroat Kitchen, their culinary contestants literally cry over spilled milk and put all their eggs into one basket every episode.

Some are eliminated in the first round of competition, Top Chefwhile the best-of-the-best go all the way to become that week's Chopped Champion. But every one of these would-be Rachael Rays and Bobby Flays--regardless of their nationality and upbringing--say that becoming a great chef was always their life's purpose. Moreover, it was a purpose that guided them in nearly every aspect of life. Their culinary career paths even determined their personal relationships!

Believe it or not, there are culinary parallels between the Bible and what it takes to run a popular restaurant on the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. For example, to succeed in life God's way, Christ-followers first must gather the right spiritual ingredients. That starts with one part unity with other Christ-followers mixed with a measure of regular prayer and Bible study. Then blend in a heaping helping of discernment--the ongoing intentional functions of living, thinking and acting constructively. (It's all about habitually looking for the good and dwelling on the positive.) Place this mixture into a hot oven of daily circumstances, trials and crises. The result is a rich life marked by a demonstrable willingness to serve others.

Christ-followers are called to be Jesus' hands and feet on earth while we wait for his return, or that day when he calls us back home (whichever comes first). Until then, our Creator wants us to help prepare his Kingdom by making the most of the different ingredients (gifts and talents) that he's given to each follower. It's by adopting a lifestyle of service that we'll become more like our Master, Jesus: 

"In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served," Jesus explains. "He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people." 
When we serve, it's not about us; it's instead about him and his creation. So as Christ-followers, let's turn our faith into action by accepting Jesus' invitation to help feed a dying world that's hungry for guidance, truth and love.

Are you ready to try out God's never-fail recipe for finding purpose in life through service to others? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding! 

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