What's that I see?

I am not much of a recipe follower, but when I am interested in finding new ways to enjoy whatever it is I desire, I sometimes seek out a different type of preparation in order to experience the same ingredients in a different way. Have you ever followed a recipe so closely so as not to miss one important ingredient and then wondered why your "finished product" did not appear just as the beautifully adorned photograph in the picture, or as you imagined it would taste? I have! No one told me I'd need a sprig of parsley, a lemon wedge, and a fancy drizzling device to make my plate appear EXACTLY as the picture! I had the SAME ingredients for the main dish, but lacked something else. The dish was similar, but not the same. Sometimes we have all the right ingredients, but we lack something in the presentation of what we have right there in front of us.

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

There are times when we know we have all the "right ingredients" which go into living for Christ, but then we find ourselves wondering about the "presentation" we lay out there for all to see. The stuff which "go into" making us strong in the Lord, building us up, and producing the image of Christ in us is all there - we have the right ingredients for our salvation, but we lack something in the "presentation" of what he has done within us. We can possess all the right ingredients, BUT if it is not presented well, it just does not have the same "appeal" as when we allow God to present within us what he has already prepared. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to help us with the "presentation". God still provides and 'puts together' the 'ingredients' of goodness, holiness, and kindness (just to name a few). The 'presented product' of our lives is because we allow those ingredients to be 'combined' in such a way that our lives 'put together' and ultimately become quite 'presentable'.

Presentation is everything! We can present almost anything as reality - we simply have to believe it well enough to "present" it in a convincing manner. We have been given all things in Christ Jesus that are needed to ensure a 'good presentation'. What we "do" with what we have been given determines the "finished product". What we need is a "tutor" to assist us with the "ingredients" and the final "presentation" of all that will be produced when the "ingredients" of grace are 'put into' our lives! We are enabled to share in the divine image of Christ - simply by the gift of all God provides in giving us everything which goes into a life of pleasing him! We don't even need to "find" the ingredients - he gives them all to us. Have you ever gone into someone's home for a planned baking day, finding a recipe laid out on the counter, and then finding all the ingredients you'd need right there? It is kind of like that with God - he does all the prep work for us and lays out what we will need to see grace ultimately worked into a pretty awesome work of beauty!

Our "mind's eye" may see the ingredients coming together in one way - while God's "divine eye" sees them in quite a different way! Because our mind is limited, we just don't consider all the ways God sees his graces coming together into a glorious presentation of his goodness and love in us. God knows best how to display his graces in our lives - he is the master of "presentation". We'd do well to trust him with it! Our part in the process is the "leaving" - we leave the things which corrupt - those choices which would "taint" the freshness and goodness of what God is creating within. The promise of what lays ahead is enough to "wet our appetites" for the outcome of his creative process! Nothing compares to the life which has been prepared for those who trust Christ Jesus! We don't need to 'add to' his grace in our lives - it already provides just the right ingredients to produce the best results! Just sayin!

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