2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (HCSB)
I will be the first to admit that I am not a very good cook. It is not for lack of trying. My kids often remind me of some of my efforts to create culinary sensations. Perhaps my most disastrous meal was an ill-fated attempt to make au gratin potatoes. The recipe called for milk. We did not have any milk in the refrigerator, but I saw a can of sweetened condensed milk in the cabinet and decided to use that instead. In my naiveté, I wrongly assumed any milk would work. As you can imagine, it did not turn out so well. Imagine candy flavored cheesy potatoes! Yes, it tasted as bad as it sounds! I think my kids only ate one bite. My brave sons might have managed to get two bites down. But the whole family realized pretty quickly that it was not a combination of flavors that we were going to be able to consume. The whole concoction ended up in the trash. And my kids have never let me forget it!
While that was definitely my worst culinary disaster, there were many more. I guess I am a bit thick headed and have to learn the hard way. In retrospect, almost all of my cooking disasters were because I was missing one or two ingredients for some recipe I was trying. Instead of going to the store and getting what I really needed, I would either leave those ingredients out completely or substitute something that I thought would taste the same, but it never did.
Though I have never really learned how to cook well, along the way I did learn an important life lesson. We need the right ingredients for a meaningful life. When we leave something important out, or when we try to substitute something else for what we really need, life just never works out like we had hoped.
God’s Word has given us a recipe for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. As we study it and apply it to our daily lives, it gives flavor and meaning to our relationships, our activities, our goals and our dreams. But when we start ignoring things we read in the Bible or when we try to substitute something in the place of what God’s Word tells us, it always ends up in a mess. How many times do we have to make the same mistakes over and over and over again before we start following the recipe of life that God has given us?
As we start this new year, perhaps it is time to make a commitment to get back into God’s Word and return to living by the principles found in it. Those ingredients will make a great life.
Lord, help us find fulfillment in following Your Word in our lives instead of substituting the things of this world. Amen.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of New England. He has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: