Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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It's one of my wife's favorite recipes, and she served it to our Team at one time. I always smile when she serves what she calls "Javanese dinner" because I know what's going to happen. She'll tell the guests what's in the dinner and instruct them to go through the line and pile the ingredients on in the order that they're served. And several guests will look at one another as if to say, "You've got to be kidding." The ingredients include rice, chicken, celery, coconut, pineapple, noodles, onions, cheese and a hot broth poured over the whole thing. (Now listen, please don't send for the recipe. I don't do recipes. I just eat them, so I can't send you a recipe.) Now listen, there's lots of skepticism about this menu, you know. Then the guests go through the line, they risk it and they love it. I saw the person who had the most doubts about what all those ingredients would be like when you put them all together go back for seconds and thirds.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "God's Strange But Wonderful Recipes."
When you look at the separate ingredients in my wife's sure-to-please recipe, it can leave a lot of doubts. But when all those ingredients get put together, it's one great experience. Sounds a lot like the recipes of God for your life and mine. I can't tell you the number of times when I have looked at some of the ingredients that God's mixed into my life and wondered why some of them were on my table. Until the time He put them all together. It was delicious.
One of the most leaned-on verses in the Bible actually promises that kind of outcome. It's Romans 8:28, and it's our word for today from the Word of God. As familiar as this verse may be to you, would you let it be God's light to help illuminate what you're going through right now. Believe it now for this situation. The Bible says, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." All things, including those ingredients you don't like, you don't understand. Ephesians 1:11 tells us that our lives are unfolding "according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." Everything! So "why?" is probably the wrong question to ask about what's happening. Why don't you try this one. "How can God use this?"
At any given point in time, you can look at your situation and say with all confidence, "What I see isn't what I get." Because with God, there is always something bigger going on than what you can see. The ways of God include a wide variety of people and tools that ultimately bring about His loving plan for you. His divine recipe for you includes some breakthroughs and some battles; some trials and some triumphs; some victories and some defeats; and a few things that seem unbearable or unexplainable. They're part of the plan. Nothing comes into the life of a child of God without Him either sending it or allowing it, because it will contribute to His plans for you. Plans which He guarantees are "to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you don't belong to Jesus Christ, you are, in the Bible's words, "lost." You're missing the plan you were put here for because you're missing the God who put you here. Jesus died to bring you back to Him. When you give yourself to Jesus, you get a personal relationship with God - you get the meaning you were made for.
Listen, if you want to begin that relationship, you want to pursue that relationship with Him, would you check out our website. It's yoursforlife.net. Or if you'd like I'll send you the booklet about this called Yours For Life. The number is 877-741-1200. And if you know you're His child through Jesus then don't walk by the recipe God is laying out on the table of your life just because you don't like some of the ingredients. Take what He serves you and do what He tells you. When God finally puts all those ingredients together, you're going to love what He's been making for you! So, trust the Cook - and trust His recipe!