Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)
TITLE: What Goes In Determines What Comes Out!
By Caroline Nandakumar
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I found out, the hard way, that the magic of baking lies in the accurate measurement of ingredients. In other words, what you put in determines what comes out of the oven! As I mulled this truth, I remembered Mark 4:24 – “And He said to them, be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”(1) I realized that the amount of attention I give to the Word of God determines the amount of revelation, knowledge, and encouragement I get from it. Many times we sit through Sunday services wondering what to cook for lunch or thinking about the important project we need to tackle the next day at work. We say a few ‘amens’ at the prompting of the pastor and clap our hands half-heartedly every time the congregation claps its hands. Our private bible study time may involve reading a devotional and the corresponding bible reading for the day…lasting five minutes at best. And we wonder why we don’t hear from God. We wonder why we don’t get any special knowledge from what we read in the Bible. We wish we could be as spiritually gifted and mature as Mrs. Jones from the bible study group but we always find ourselves struggling to understand the Bible.
My best friend is a stickler for measurement. She cannot cook without her measuring cup and spoons. I, on the other hand, tend to ‘throw in’ spices and other ingredients and they have always come out great. I simply assumed that I can follow the same approach to baking and everything will turn out well in the end. How naive of me! It made me think about those times I have assumed I know what a particular Scripture verse means or what the Bible says about a specific topic. I realized that, without proper knowledge of the truth, the assumptions I make can lead me astray. In fact, some of the loved ones in my own family have half-baked ideas about God but they don’t really know Him. It is no surprise that they never seem to have enough time to study the Bible or listen to a sermon.
Just as it is important to measure the amount of ingredients in baking, it is equally important to measure the amount of attention and time we give to hearing the Word of God. The more attention we give to diligently studying the Word of God and carefully listening to the truth of the Gospel, the more knowledge we get. But, knowledge without action amounts to nothing. We must use the revelation and knowledge we receive to bear the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), and self-control (2) .
The secret to perfect baking lies in measurement. The secret to spiritual maturity lies in paying attention to what we hear and study so that we can use the knowledge acquired for God’s glory.
1. Mark 4:24 (Amplified Bible)
2. Galatians 5:22-23 (Amplified Bible)
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