Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1Peter 2:1-2)
WHEN I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD, the summer came on and I was drooping around, pushing myself to do the milking and gardening and other farm chores. I ended up in Dr. Mitchell’s office in Crossville, TN. He did the usual things: “Stick out your tongue,” etc. First question: “How’s your appetite?” I hadn’t noticed, but that was a chore, too. He gave me a bottle of “tonic.” (A spoonful in a glass of water was bitter). He gave me a Vitamin B shot and suspected that my thyroid was low (which has to do with metabolism and appetite.) In a few days I was a busy farmer with a good appetite and energy.
THE APOSTLE PETER WROTE: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1Peter 2:2) The next time Peter wrote a letter he was still urging Christians to grow: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…(2Peter 3:18)
THE WORD: "DESIRE" IS USED HERE, and it has to do with appetite. A desire for the milk of the Word of God. Not merely a sense of duty. Desire. Appetite for the milk of the Word of God. When chickens, pigs, calves, horses, or humans get sick, it affects their appetite. Appetite for the Word of God is extremely important for a Christian.
JESUS ASKED PETER THREE TIMES IF HE LOVED HIM.and Peter said he did. Jesus said: “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” Jesus didn’t tell Peter to catch the first boat and start going all over the world preaching and getting people saved. Peter’s first job was to tend the sheep and feed them well. Does that seem strange? The whole world was lost and in need of being saved and Jesus told Peter to feed the sheep. Starved sheep won’t be much of a witness to lost people.
OF COURSE, TODAY WE HAVE SOME WELL-FED SHEEP that won’t open their mouths to lost people. I say, “well-fed” sheep. That may not be the case. Some sheep get fed and some sheep get entertained. Entertaining the sheep and feeding the sheep are not the same. Peter learned his lesson. He is concerned about the appetite of new Christians. First things first: milk.
PAUL WAS CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING NEW CHRISTIANS FED. He had trouble getting them on a strong diet. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1Corinthians 3:1-3)
IN OUR TEXT IN 1PETER 2, Peter told them to first lay aside: malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking. This baggage would prevent them from growing, even if they took in the Word of God. If you are not getting much out of your Bible reading, you may want to check up on the baggage.
WE ARE READING ABOUT SUFFERING CHRISTIANS. Suffering, in the life of a genuine Christian, produces separation from the evil of the world, our own flesh, and the devil. But for that to come to pass we need a good spiritual appetite. Some Christians have the idea that when we are saved and the Holy Spirit moves into our bodies, Christ is in us and we are in Christ, therefore, our job is to be passive and hold steady while the Spirit of God does all the work and we just watch Him
OTHERS BELIEVE THAT THEY MUST DO EVERYTHING THEMSELVES, so they spend a lot of time praying for God to get interested in helping them live the Christian life. They are struggling with addictions and the difficulties of life and their answer is to double down and work harder. Both extremes miss the point that we are co-laborers with the Lord. There is a part that the Holy Spirit must do and as we are enabled by the Holy Spirit, there is the part we must do in order for us to live a victorious Christian life.
IT'S LIKE RAISING A GARDEN. God makes the seeds, the soil, the rain and He also makes the weeds and grass. A lazy man will not make much of a gardener and a lazy man will not make much of a Christian. There is much reading and studying of the Word of God and much praying to be done. These things are work and require discipline.
BUT, AS WE WORK IN THE WORD OF GOD and as we work in prayer, God begins to grow a garden. The power units of the Word of God are concentrated in the phrases. We should hear, read, study, memorize and meditate in the Word of God. We will never do greater praying than when we pray the Word of God back to the Lord. The Word builds our faith and fuels our praying. That is the truth! The Word of God builds our faith and fuels our praying. I’ve said it twice. I meant to say it twice. Let me say it again: The Word of God builds our faith and fuels our praying.
IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT WE GUARD OUR APPETITE for the Word of God and prayer. How do we build an appetite for the Word of God? By hearing the Word of God; by reading the Word of God; by studying the Word of God; by memorizing the Word of God; by meditating in the Word of God. How do we build an appetite for prayer? We build an appetite for prayer by praying. Prayer is talking to God. But, it’s more than that. It’s also HOW we talk to God.
Jesus said: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
November 1, 2019 – FRIDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 31-32 P.M. Titus 2
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Great Verses to Memorize:
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:…. (Psalm 42:1-2a)
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2Corinthians 1:3-4) (Copy on a 3x5 card cut in half.)
Song for Today:
Walking Through the Flames – (Men’s Ensemble – Calvary Memorial)
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