The Way to The Heart
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” It has been said that the way to the heart is through the stomach. But just as bread gives life to the body, God’s word also gives life to the spirit. However, it requires faith to receive God’s word. Did you know faith has a recipe? There are five important ingredients in the recipe for faith, all of which are necessary for a healthy and prosperous Christian life.
I was born in New Orleans, and here, we have a saying: “The rest of the world eats to live, but in New Orleans, we live to eat.” One of my favorite foods is gumbo, and my wife makes the best pot of gumbo you’ve ever tasted. So much goes into making gumbo, but the most important element in the recipe for gumbo is the roux. The roux makes all the ingredients in gumbo bind together; the roux also gives gumbo its distinctive flavor.
To sustain our physical health, we need a proper diet of good food. We also need a solid diet of good spiritual food to maintain our spiritual health. Today, we can see how the temperament of the world is increasingly changing for the worst because we are feeding our spirits unhealthy food. However, the Bible provides a good variety of spiritual food. But to digest it, you must first read the Bible, and then mix it with faith. Faith is the roux that binds together the ingredients necessary to receive God’s word. For your reference, I have listed in this blog, five important ingredients in the recipe of faith. Bon appétit.
Grace is the first ingredient in the recipe for faith. It is the roux that holds all the ingredients of faith together. By grace, we receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). No one merits grace. However, God gives us grace because He loves us. For grace provides the faith to receive Christ as our Savior.
We learn in God’s word that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Before grace came, the purpose of the law was to bring us to the end of ourselves, that we might see our need for a Savior. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” It is by the law that we know sin. If we had no knowledge of sin, how could we sin?
As believers in Christ, we put too much emphasis on sin, and not enough emphasis on grace. We are no longer under the Old Covenant of the Law. Under grace, God has made a New Covenant with us, in which He says, “…I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Jesus defeated sin; therefore, we should rest in God’s grace. The law demands, whereas grace supplies.
The next ingredient in the recipe for faith is confidence. Faith does not come by just believing in God. If you want faith to produce results, you must be confident that God is bigger than your problems. It is imperative that you have the kind of confidence that fearlessly trusts God in any situation. When you have faith, you are convinced that God will not disappoint you.
Too often we expect that God will answer our prayers in the future. You know, pray today, get the answer tomorrow. But God’s word says that faith exists in the present.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the confidence that ensures that God has already answered our prayers. That confidence gives us the faith necessary to receive the blessings of God now. Therefore, it is written:
For this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”1 John 5:14-15
“For God so loved the world…” It is important that you know God loves you as an individual. You are not “the world” but you are one of the people that make up the world’s population. God knows who you are, He knows your name, and He loves you.
“Faith works through love” (Galatians 5:6). But what does that mean? In the original Greek text, the word used for love is agape. It means God’s kind of love. God’s kind of love is a love that will never forsake you.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35, 38-39
Your faith will produce results when you realize how much you are loved by God. Then you start to understand that God’s agape love is unconditional, that it is not based on your performance, and above all, it is constant.
The Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). We know death entered the world by sin when Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. But what was Adam’s sin? What was Adam guilty of? Adam was guilty of the sin of disobedience.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience, many will be made righteous.Romans 5:19
Obedience is a very necessary ingredient in the recipe for faith. Although Jesus was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. We know faith is perfected through obedience, for the Bible says that Jesus, having been perfected by His obedience to the Father, became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9).
The final ingredient in the recipe for faith is courage. There is a story in the Bible in 1 Samuel 17, about a young shepherd boy who killed the most feared giant in all the land. That shepherd boy’s name was David, and the giant’s name was Goliath. David challenged Goliath with only a sling and five stones. Can you imagine how much courage was necessary to take on such a challenge? Because David had faith to receive the promises of God, he found the courage to defeat Goliath.
Our giants may not come to us wearing bronze armor and carrying a thick javelin and a huge shield, like Goliath, but giants are still a reality. When the doctor gives you an unfavorable diagnosis, like cancer, for example, that diagnosis can potentially become your giant. The more you look at it, the bigger it will manifest itself. If you continue to gaze upon it, it won’t be long before the giant – whatever it is – will start to appear bigger than life.
When you are confident that God is with you, your faith will give rise to courage. By faith, you can overcome anything. Just remember the five ingredients in the recipe for faith. (1) You are saved by grace. (2) Your confidence is in God. (3) God loves you unconditionally. (4) You are righteous because of the obedience of Christ. (5) Your faith will produce the courage needed to overcome any obstacle.