The Right Ingredients
October 29, 2011
Read: Matthew 22:34-39; 28:16-20
Always be ready to give a defense . . . with meekness. —1 Peter 3:15
Although my culinary skills remain undeveloped, occasionally I use a box of premixed ingredients to make a cake. After adding eggs, vegetable oil, and water, I stir it all together. To bake a palate-pleasing cake, it’s vital to have the correct balance of the right ingredients. That helps me picture the relationship of the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-38) and the Great Commission (28:19-20) as we spread the gospel.
When Jesus told His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, He did not give them permission to be rude and uncaring as they did so. His own citing of the “first and great commandment”—to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind—was quickly followed by the call to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39). Throughout the New Testament, we find this model of compassionate, respectful living restated many places, including “the love chapter” (1 Cor. 13) and Peter’s instruction to give a reason for the hope within us “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV).
In our eagerness to share Christ with others, we must always include a healthy balance of those two ingredients—the true gospel and godly love. This wonderfully sweet cake bakes best in the warmth of God’s love.
Lord, help me to love with both words and deeds,
To reach out to sinners and meet their needs;
Lord, burden my heart for those lost in sin,
With mercy and love that flows from within. —Fitzhugh
They witness best who witness with their lives.