“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV
I have developed a secret delight, a guilty pleasure that has captivated me over the last few months. I have taken to watching little kittens, especially those who are new born with their mother. I watch with great fascination, the development of the little ones, as they start by nursing on mom, to growing and eventually eating solid food.
I watch them grow, play, and I mourn when they are, one by one, adopted into forever homes. It is bittersweet.
With the change of diet comes great growth, as the once tiny little babes with closed eyes, grow into jumping, bouncing toddlers running amok as mother cat watches with pride.
The mother’s milk is needful for the beginning of life, for the formation of the inward parts as the infant becomes developed. At some point, the developing body requires more than milk, for it must have more substantive things to continue.
Such is the reality for the follower of Jesus. Reading Hebrews chapter five this morning, I was struck at the placement of the passage. Paul was completing his talk on the supremacy of Jesus, and was now about to talk about the priesthood. He reminded his readers of the need to comprehend, to be able to understand the first principles of the oracles of God.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
II Timothy 2:15 NKJV
The passage in Hebrews has great relevance for the readers at that time, and even more in these days. Our lives are far more complex, for we have so many things vying for our attention. The tendency is to give that finite resource to those things that give us pleasure, opting to be entertained rather than edified and built up.
So many of us eschew the deep mining of the word of God, opting to read devotionals, or books by celebrity teachers focused more on our feelings and not our instruction in the Scriptures.
What has happened is we, the American church has developed into an entity a mile wide and and inch deep. Because we have not sought to go deep into the word, moving from milk to meat, we have little use for the deeper truths.
The deeper truths serve to bring to understanding of God’s plan of redemption, as we see that all of the Bible points to Jesus and the great salvation that He came to bring. Because we miss this, we have become lukewarm, and having no regard for those who have not tasted the free gift of grace. We neglect the commission the Lord has given us, opting to sit in our pews comfortably and leading no one to the Lord.
I have known Christians who have been in the faith for decades, who were raised in Christian homes, of parents who were raised in Christian homes, who were but babes in the faith. They had consumed a steady diet of milk, and had not bothered to eat the solid food.
Brothers and sisters, let us go for the solid food, filling our plates with the prime ribeyes and healthy vegetables, that we be built up and strengthened. Let us develop our jaws, as we masticate on the pure truths found only in Scripture, that we rightly divide the word of God.
As we seek the Lord, eating of the solid food, we develop from the inside out, as the word enriches us, revealing to us who we are and who we need to be.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
My people, we are going to need great strength to carry out the mission the Lord has given us, especially in these dire times, for even as we will face great struggle, the potential for the harvest will be greater than it has ever been.
The word of God provides us with protection in these uncertain times, and is essential in withstanding the pressures that will one brought by the devil.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
We are like those little kittens, growing and maturing. And like them, we too are looking forward, for we have been adopted into the beloved, and we are destined for a true and eternal forever home.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.””
Revelation 21:1-5 NKJV
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