Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's Cooking?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)

We have a lot of cookbooks in our house. Sometimes I enjoy cooking, and my wife loves to try new recipes. However, we both tend to stick to certain cookbooks more than others. I guess we have found that some are easier to follow and are more practical for feeding our family.

We also have several cookbooks that are pretty humorous. One of my favorites is written by Ted and Shemane Nugent. (Yes, this is Ted Nugent, the rock guitarist). The name of his cookbook is "Kill it and Grill it." We also have, "Eat Like a Wild Man," "Vegetarian Grilling," (I'm not sure where that one came from!) and "Fix it and Forget it."

Suppose I decided to cook something from one of these books. I would look over the list of ingredients to make sure I had the items needed for the recipe. Once I determined that I had what I needed, I would then follow the directions for cooking the dish. Following the recipe, as it is written, is very important if you want the dish to turn out right.

Sometimes, however, you can follow the directions perfectly and still have problems. This reminds me of a joke I read recently. It read, "According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated 'Wash. Biol. Surv.' until the agency received the following letter from a camper: Dear Sirs: While camping last week, I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you it was horrible. The bands are now marked 'Fish and Wildlife Service.'"

Most people in our community own a Bible. In fact, recent studies have shown that approximately 92% of American households have at least one Bible. That study also revealed that the 92% included atheists and people who profess other religions. We also know that 60 Bibles were sold every second in 2009. None of the surveys take into consideration the number of Bibles placed around the world by the Gideons.

All of this begs the question, "If there are so many Bibles around, why is there so much sin and hate in the world?" The answer is simple. People may own Bibles, but they don't read them. Also, out of those who read them, many do not understand what they read. Worse than this, many who read God's Word and understand what it says, do not believe, obey or do what it says.

I may not agree with some of the ingredients shown in the recipes in our cookbooks, but if I don't use them, the dish will not be prepared as it was created by the originator. Likewise, if we pick and choose what we will believe, obey and do from the scriptures, we will never fulfil what our Creator intended us to be. We must study God's Word to know what He says about our lives. There is no subject we can encounter in life that God did not address in some way in His Word.

So, open your Bible, and as James put it in the passage above, "Do what it says."

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:23-25)

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