"He (Jesus) spoke another parable to them: The kingdom of Heaven is like leaven (yeast), which a woman takes and hides in three measures of meal until the whole is leavened." (Matthew 13:33 KJIIV)

The recipe's instructions were to add the following ingredients as listed -

Water

Salt

Sweetener

Gluten

Oil

Flour

Yeast

It had been years since I last made a loaf of bread. I live alone and - Well, it is just easier to buy bread from the store. But I had made a commitment to make bread so I got to work.

WATER: If you tried to make bread without liquid you'd just have a pan of dry ingredients. Could you make your morning toast with just flour? Or the lunch sandwiches? No - Water would be an important addition.

SALT: Yes, bread can be made without salt but it would taste quite bland so - OK here goes the salt.

SWEETENER: I'm making bread am I not? Why do I want sweetener? Sweetener goes in cake or cookies or pie but BREAD? But with no sweetener the yeast won't grow and the bread would end up like a brick. The sweetener IS important

GLUTEN: This will make the texture of the bread much softer. All flour has some gluten in it but a little added enhancement can make the dough better.

OIL: Why do I need to add oil? We hear a lot about cholesterol and low fat diets, wouldn't it be better to leave out the oil? No, because one thing the oil does is make the bread moist enough that it doesn't stick in the pan.

YEAST: Perhaps I could leave out the yeast? No, we still want our bread to raise and be light. Without yeast that would be impossible.

OK. There I have all the ingredients in the pan, in the order the recipe listed so into the bread machine it goes and the baking process begins. While the mixture is warming I began to review the ingredients - Water, Salt, Sweetener, Gluten, Oil, Yeast - Uh Oh, where's the flour? With no flour we still can't make toast or sandwiches. So in went the flour.

It is the same in our Christian life. We need to follow the recipe - God's Word. We can do good works and we can claim to have faith and claim to love God, but His Word tells us that faith without works is dead. We can't really LOVE God without BOTH faith and works.

Jesus tells us in his Word "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its taste, with what shall it be salted?" Matthew 5:14 KJIIV

I think Jesus is saying that if we just go along claiming to be Christ's followers and yet we don't have the 'real' salt of love, faith and works, we will be ineffective in showing His love and character to others.

It is much like the loaf of bread - none of the ingredients can be omitted if the loaf is to be a good representative of a loaf of bread.

Wynona Gordon