Psst! Do You Want to Know a Secret?
I took a bite of the delicious looking chocolate cake I’d been admiring on the counter throughout the entire dinner. Then I took another. And another. This cake tasted even better than it looked! After I finished the last bite (licking the fork clean and dabbing the crumbs off the plate with my index finger), I casually asked my friend for the recipe.
“Oh, it’s a secret family recipe. Sorry.”
I nodded and smiled politely. But inside I was what you might call, irritated.
Seriously? Does she have the recipe card behind lock and key? I imagined my friend entering a silver vault with an armed guard.
Is it like Mr. Krab’s secret Krabby patty recipe that Plankton is forever devising a plan to steal? How ridiculous!
Finally, I decided that if she wouldn’t give me the recipe, then I’d try to figure it out on my own. How hard could it be? Flour, sugar, butter, and of course chocolate, had to be the main ingredients.
Guess what? I’ve never figured out that recipe! I’ve made a few very tasty chocolate cakes in the process, but nothing compares to the cake with the secret family recipe. So annoying!
Throughout my years of cooking, I’ve had two other similar experiences like the one with the chocolate cake, but with a twist. This time, I was actually given the recipe, but the end result didn’t taste like the original. One was my friend’s salsa recipe and the other was my grandma’s authentic meatballs. My grandma was born it Italy. Enough said.
When I told my friend that I followed her salsa recipe, but it didn’t taste quite as good as her’s, she offered to come over and make the salsa with me. I was delighted.
Now I would know the secret! (mu aaa ah!)
I’ll tell you the rest of that story in a little while. But for now. . . it’s a secret. I’m giggling at your response as I type this. Don’t you dare skim through this article in search of the secret salsa recipe. What I have to say next is more important. I mean it!
Human beings are a curious lot. We have an affinity for mystery, lost treasure, secret codes, and the like. If we are told that something is a secret, we naturally want to find out what “it” is.
The apostle Paul tells us in the first chapter of Colossians that God had given him the responsibility of serving the church by proclaiming God’s entire secret message.
“This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people.” Colossians 1:26
Screeeech! Stop right there. Secret message? What is Paul referring to?
“For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:27 (emphasis mine)
I hope you caught the significance of this. For centuries this message had been a mystery—meaning the entire Old Testament until the birth of Christ which is about 4,000 years.
Paul goes on to say, “I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:1-3
Are you getting this? For 4,000 years God kept this message a secret. And now today we not only know the secret, but we have access to all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!
The proverbial cat is out of the bag, people.
As Christians, you and I have the spirit of Christ Jesus living inside of us which also means we have hold of the secret treasures and wisdom of God!
We have been given the keys to the kingdom! (Matthew 16:17-19)
So why isn’t the church acting like it?
The message is no longer supposed to be a secret. Salvation through Christ is meant for everyone.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” Romans 10:14
I’ve been asking myself a tough question lately:
When was the last time you told someone about Christ?
I’m not talking about at Bible study or church. I mean someone who needs to hear the message of salvation.
And here’s another tough question:
Are you keeping Christ a secret?
Remember the secret chocolate cake recipe I was telling you about? Listen, my friends, Jesus is not like that. He isn’t a secret family (church) recipe. Nope. Nope. Nope.
He’s more like my friend who came over to show me how to follow her salsa recipe. I had the ingredients. I had the recipe. But I needed her to show me the technique/method. Jesus has given us His precious Holy Spirit to show us the technique. These are the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” that Paul was writing about.
We are called to show others Christ’s love with our actions as well as our voices.
We are called to lead other’s to Him by our example. When I look at this world in all its depravity, it’s clear to me, that we aren’t sharing the secret (no longer supposed to be a secret).
We are called to lead other’s to Him by our example. When I look at this world in all its depravity, it’s clear to me, that we aren’t sharing the secret (no longer supposed to be a secret). Or at least we aren’t sharing it nearly enough.
At the church I attend, we often speak of the Greek word Oikos. No, I’m not talking about the yogurt. Oikos means extended family. A group of eight to fifteen people with whom you share life most closely, your sphere of greatest influence.
This simply means we all have a small group of people in which we have regular contact (and influence). I’m not talking about standing out on a street corner, handing out tracts, or going door to door. What I am saying is, we really don’t have a good excuse not to share Christ with people we see at work for eight hours a day, or the soccer parents, or the neighbors who live across the street.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple act like bringing up the neighbor’s trash cans. Or not letting your anger get the best of you when someone cuts you off on the freeway. People are watching us. And people need to see Christ’s love demonstrated in tangible ways. Then when we do speak up about our hope, they are much more likely to listen to what we have to say.
It’s all about relationships. Our relationship to God, our families, friends, and our Oikos.
I’m determined to share the secret recipe. I have the most spectacular news this world has ever heard and I’m going to share it.
How about you? Are you up for the challenge?
I’ll keep you posted on my progress here on Spotlight. I hope to hear from some of you too. Please email me or comment below this blog post.
Oh yeah, I haven’t forgotten about the salsa recipe. You’ll find two yummy recipes below.
Enjoy and God bless!
Here’s a quick video clip where I demonstrate “the secret method” to making the salsa recipe. Thanks for watching.