Cooking or Baking? (Romans 16:1-4)

I love to cook and my wife loves to bake. This is a very good combination and serves us well since we both love to eat and entertain at our home. I have observed that for those who like to cook, they do not usually like to bake, and visa versa. It does not mean my wife is not a good cook, she definitely is! But she prefers baking. Likewise, I do not like to bake but welcome any opportunity to cook.


One explanation may be found with our personalities. I am a global thinker and like to tweak things along the way to arrive at the final product. Thus, I am often liberal with my ingredient measurements, usually seasoning to taste as I am cooking. While this works well with cooking, it is an absolute disaster with baking. Just being off a few teaspoons of a critical ingredient can result in a failed dish. My wife is extremely precise. She follows the recipe to the letter and her finished baked products reflect this perfection. By focusing upon what we do best, together, we produce a wonderful meal that we are eager to share with our family and friends and to serve our Lord.


I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.

Romans 16:1-4 (ESV)


Our different approaches remind me of the way the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers in the Church of Jesus Christ. In his last chapter in his letter of the Romans, the Apostle Paul thanked numerous believers for their contributions to his ministry and the Church. Phoebe was financially blessed and supported Paul and others in the ministry. Prisca and Aquila risked their lives for Paul’s and worked alongside him as fellow tentmakers (Acts 18:3). In all, Paul acknowledges and praises thirty-five others and references even more. Rich or poor, slave or nobility, Jews, Greeks, men and women...God used all of their gifts to build His Church. He continues to do the same today!


If you have been saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells within you and has given you a special gift or gifts to use for God’s Kingdom. God takes our personality and talents and molds them for His use. Like cooking and baking together, the gifts of the Holy Spirit work to build and establish God’s Church.


And our work for the Church will last for eternity!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.