Recipe for the Successful Christian Life
Persons for a skit and persons for the preliminaries
Recipe for the Christian Life
Christ the Bread of Life
Happy Sabbath, brothers and sisters. How are you all feeling today?
I know that many persons sitting in this congregation know about cooking and baking. When cooking or baking, do you follow a recipe? Most of us may not see the importance of using a written recipe because of our experience in the kitchen. But we still must follow a particular set of instructions to ensure we get the best taste from our dishes every time. Recipes are essential for continuity as well. If you want your daughter-in-law to know how to make a particular dish that your son likes; she would need your recipe or the list of instructions you use when making a specific dish.
Proverbs 8:33 says Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
How many persons here eat bread? What are some of your favourite types of bread? There are many variations to baking a loaf bread. However, three ingredients will always be required. These are flour, yeast and water. Am I correct chefs?
Today for the welcome, we will divide the church into three parts. Group 1 will be the water, group two will be the flour, and group three will be yeast. We must combine these three ingredients when baking a tasty loaf of bread.
We want each person to greet someone from the two other groups as we make bread. After all, we all knead each other :-) Ensure you have all three ingredients in your bread group. The fourth ingredient to making any dish successful is love. Let us combine these ingredients to make a lovely bread this morning.
The Bible says in John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." Let us continue to feed on the living bread so we may gain eternal life.
538 – Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah/ Like the Woman at the well
Two different teams of bakers enter. Each team should have three persons each. Both should stand at tables prepared with ingredients for baking bread. (Where possible ensure both sides are dressed like bakers)
Welcome contestants to the bake-off. As both teams are fully aware, you are live on the biggest live show on the Food Network. We are honoured to have the presence of our 5-star chef who has over 33 years of experience baking bread in Israel's finest restaurants and bakery's. The prize for the best bread will include an all-expense-paid trip to the world's top restaurant. The rules are simple; each team is required to follow the instructions given to win. The best baker will be judged and determined by the judge, and his decision is final.
Let us begin. We will now give you both the recipe for a loaf of bread. Do your best.
(The announcer gives both teams the recipe and exits the stage)
Chef: Ok, this recipe seems simple enough to follow. It is not exactly the way I am accustomed to baking bread, but I trust the expertise of the chef who gave it to me. The recipe calls for
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3 tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups bread flour
It seems simple enough let us begin.
Chef: Hey, team, please read the recipe for me, please.
Sous chef: We need yeast, salt, oil, flour, sugar and water.
Chef: That's all?
Sous chef: Yes that's all that is required.
Chef: Ok, let's show them a little creativity. We'll improve on that recipe a bit. We will add pumpkin to enhance its flavour, some sesame seeds sprinkled on the top, garlic for a flavourful experience that will appeal judge's taste. Let us add milk to make it even more palatable, that also breaks down the enzymes and allows it to cook faster. The judge is well travelled and must appreciate these unique culinary additions.
Sous chef: Ok boss, I agree, let us improve on the recipe.
Chef: Lastly, although the master chef asked us to bake a loaf of bread, let us make smaller sizes. We will make little buns so we will have more in case other persons in the congregation want to taste the bread. Let's begin Mixing.
(Teams begin mixing ingredients)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Back to the skit
And we are back kitchen side. Let us check in with our teams to see how they are doing with the baking.
Chef 1 how are you doing in the kitchen?
Chef 1: I am following the recipe precisely, and I would say even though this is not the way I would usually bake, but I am trusting the creator of the recipe.
Announcer: It is essential to trust the process.
Sous chef 1: We have had a few bumps in the road, but the dough is coming out great, and we are about to put the loaf in the oven.
Announcer: Ok, let us check in with the other team who seemed to have added to their ingredients list. Chef 2 how are you doing in the kitchen?
Chef 2: I made some improvements to the recipe, and it's going to be great. We decided to feed more people, and to create an over better bread that will blow the judge's mind. We added and improved and made changes.
Announcer: This chef plans to improve on our expert chef's recipe with a few tricks of their own. Let's see how these improvements impact the outcome.
(Both chefs exit the stage with the bread in baking tins)
We await the results of the bread. The chefs have placed the dough in the oven. While we wait, we will go into the lesson study.
Announcer: Bakers, please show your bread
Chef 1: Here is our bread. Baked as instructed, the recipe was perfect. I have baked bread for years, and I honestly have never baked so perfect. I would not add or remove anything and it tastes great I hope you feel the same.
Judge: <Tastes bread>Indeed! It is baked to perfection. You followed the instructions, and your bread is of the quality I would put in any of my gourmet restaurants. You did a great job!
Chef 2: Chef, since the instructions were the same for both of us, we tried to add a little creativity in the mix. This will be the best bread you ever tasted. We also created multiple smaller buns, not according to the recipe, but so everyone can experience the taste for themselves.
Judge: <Tastes Bread> Can I get a paper towel?<Spits in the paper towel> This bread is so soggy, what is this? Is this a pumpkin-garlic cake? The sesame seeds are burnt and hard. The garlic flavour is overpowering! I think I am going to need a mint.
Plus I know you used milk, I could taste it. The reason there is no milk in the recipe is because I am lactose intolerant!
Announcer: Chef 2, depart, you are disqualified and must exit. Chef 1, you are the winner. Congratulation!
You followed the word of the master chef and you have bread that is reflective of him.
The story is told of a Syrian captain named Naaman. Naaman won many battles, and he was well respected for his knowledge and wealth. Naaman was also a leper, and we know the story well. He was instructed to dip seven times in the Jordan to be healed. This instruction was precise.
The Jordan was also a muddy river. To many, this instruction may seem as crazy and unimaginable. How could the prophet instruct a man of such valour to dip in such a river?
Naaman obeyed the instruction, and he was healed.
The Bible is the word of God, and it outlines many specific instructions for our lives. Some of these instructions are unpopular, and we may not understand many of the instructions. But we are called to follow these instructions laid out for us in the word of God because they enhance our lives and works in us a perfecting spirit required to model the character of Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 5:33 instructs us to Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
The Bible outlines recipes about the day we should keep holy, the type of food we should eat, what our behaviour should be like in order to be witnesses and to represent the Father always. But many like chef #2, many of us try to "improve" on the clear word of God and end up disobeying His commands.
Proverbs 14:12 warns us of the dangers of trying to forge our own path to righteousness. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
In Matthew 15:9, Jesus also spoke against making up our own guidelines for righteousness. "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Like the Pharisees, we may be guilty of adding on to the laws of God to appear holy in our own eyes. There is danger in this method as it also makes serving the Lord seem burdensome, and this can deter persons from knowing the true character of Christ as revealed in His perfect law of love. We are called to follow God's commands as laid out in the Bible. Let us search the scripture to understand this for ourselves.
Are you following Gods commands today? God's recipe for life makes the bread of life palatable and attainable and gives us true freedom and eternal life.
Sabbath School is now adjourned until next Sabbath.