Spiritual Milk

even-smaller-bug-light1

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment ​ — 1 Peter 2:2 NLT


Just as we needed our milk as physical babies, we need pure milk as spiritual babies. We need to become well grounded in the basics of Christianity so that we can stand against temptations to go back into the lifestyle that we lived as sinners. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus and we need to learn a new language and a new way of walking. Faith comes by hearing, so we need to hear the Word everyday. Just as our children learn to read by reading out loud to us, we need to practice reading a few verses out loud every day. Tell God every day that you love Him and want to be obedient to Him. Just as hungry babies cry out for their nourishment, there are times in our lives when we need to cry out to God for guidance from His Word. As we study, meditate, and grow, we will be able to take our place as building blocks in God’s body, the Church. We are his holy priests and should daily offer ourselves as living sacrifices that please God.


12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him–Romans 12:1 (NLT)

Once we have made progress on “the milk” of the Word, we can move on to solid food.


14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.–Hebrews 5:14 (NLT)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-18-2017

Laying Up Treasures

even-smaller-bug-light1

10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
— Hebrews 3:7-12 NLT

This passage should not be interpreted to mean that we must work for our salvation. That would be in direct conflict with other passages that clearly state that we are saved by”grace through faith”. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that doing good works after we are saved is how we lay up rewards in heaven. This should encourage us to help our neighbors and others that we see in need of food, housing, clothing, etc. God gave Adam and Eve the job of tending the Garden of Eden. Work in and of itself is not a curse. God expects each of us to be busy doing good works. We are instructed to “redeem the time”. James tells us that we show our faith in Jesus by doing good works. If we want to enter into the rest mentioned earlier in Hebrews, we must continue in faith and be patient. The day will come soon enough when we will receive our rewards.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-01-2017

Growing Up in the Spirit

even-smaller-bug-light1

And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. — Hebrews 6:3 NLT

Paul is again emphasizing that even new Christians should understand that salvation requires repentance, which is more than turning away from sin, it is also turning to something new and that is Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in God. We know that we should be baptized as an outward representation of what we believe in our hearts. It is symbolic of dying to sin and our fleshly desires and being resurrected to a new life in Jesus. We understand that after the resurrection, some will go on to eternal life with Jesus and others to eternal life in hell. What we need now is to understand what Jesus wants us to do until the time of our physical death. He wants us to follow His example and lead a lifestyle that draws others to Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us “into all truth”.  ​ If we following His leading, we will grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-30-2017

Grow Up, Move Out, and Take the Land!

even-smaller-bug-light1

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.   — Hebrews 5:14


When it comes to the Scriptures, I am learning not to say “I have learned” but rather that “I am learning”. Every time I think I have “learned” something, the Holy Spirit opens up more of the Scripture. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get out of kindergarten. But we all have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. That is a good start, but we have to build from there. The basics of God’s Word is the plan of salvation. Paul is saying there is more to our relationship with Jesus than that. After we have accepted Jesus and our salvation is secure, it is time to start to study Scripture and develop habits that will help us to mature in our walk with Jesus. Meditating on God’s Word, prayer and time alone with God is how we grow. The world is our classroom and the Holy Spirit is our instructor. We can take the short route to the Promised Land by studying and being obedient or we can be like the children of Israel and spend 40 years making an 11 day trip
​.  And, remember, of all of those that spent 40 years making the trip, only two actually got to enter into

​ the Promised Land. Let us choose to be like Joshua and Caleb.  God has prepared us to take the land and it is time to move out.
 
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” ​ — Numbers 13:30


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 4-29-2017

Living The Truth

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. — Titus 1:16 NLT
Paul considered both Timothy and Titus to be his sons in the faith and as such, it was his joy and job to mentor them.  Even though he left them at different churches to carry on the work that he had started, he contiuned to do this by writing them letters.   In his 2nd letter to Timothy and here in this letter to Titus, Paul warns them about wasting their time in foolish talk and conversations.  This type of behavior usually leads to divisions in the body of Christ.  Crete was obviously well known for this type of activity since Paul quotes one of their own Cretan prophets as describing them as “liars, cruel animals and lazy gluttons”.  That’s harsh condemnation of one’s fellow countrymen.  However, it would not be hard to make that description fit a portion of our society today.  The point Paul wants to make to Titus is that he has a tough job ahead of him.  He is living among people who will make all sorts of claims and statements of their faith, but they don’t really know God and their lifestyles prove that they don’t.  When we hear the Gospel of Jesus, we accept it as truth because the Holy Spirit has purified and prepared our minds to accept it.  Those whose minds and consciences are corrupt will perceive all truth as being corrupt.  The task for Titus was to convince them of the truth of the Gospel by his lifestyle.   That is our task in our society today.
Post 05-24-2016

We Are All In or We Are Not In At All!

even-smaller-bug-light16 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”   7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  — James 4:6-9 NIV

​The Old Testament law was given to show man that he could not live up to the perfection required for redemption.  Man could not and cannot do anything to save himself.  Those living in that time who thought they were doing a good enough job to satisfy God’s requirements for redemption were caught up in prideful thinking. They became so full of pride that they actually added laws to the ones God had already given.  We can only assume that they thought they were improving the situation, when, in fact, they were putting burdens on the people.  So, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who was full of grace and mercy.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14 NIV

We are saved by grace through faith​ and Jesus wants to continue to give us grace upon grace.

16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. — John 1:16 NASB

​It is this continued gift of grace that allows us to overcome the flesh and submit oursleves to God. Without it, we would be like the religious leaders of ancient times and become so full of pride that we would be useless in spreading the word of God. There is nothing in this world that is worthy of praise when it is compared to the joy and the hope that we have through Jesus Christ. 

30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” — 1 Cor. 1:30, 31 NIV

If anything or anyone in this world brings us greater joy, pleasure and happiness than knowing Jesus, then we are double-minded.  We should mourn and wail while asking God to forgive us and bring our focus back on Him and Him alone.

Post 12-02-2015

We Set the Limits On Our Learning

even-smaller-bug-light11 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, — Titus 3:1-5 NIV

​When we accepted Jesus as our Savior​, we experienced a new birth, not physically, but spiritually.  At that time, we are or were new babies in Christ. Just as physical babies have to learn to crawl, stand, and walk before they can run, so we must do that spiritually. For a baby to grow and mature, the baby needs a proper diet along with proper care and training.  We need the same things as new babies in Christ.  The process of growing up spiritually is called renewal.  We are being renewed daily as we are led by the Holy Spirit.  The more we seek God’s wisdom and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, the faster we will grow.  The physical baby grows physically and in time becomes an adult. At some point, our physical growth will reach its limit, whether it be at four feet, five feet, six feet or more.  The spiritual baby grows spiritually and matures.  That growth is limited only by our willingness to be obedient and exercise spiritually every day. We will never be totally perfected here on earth.  So, we must never think that there is not more to learn. If we reach that point, it is pride not perfection. When we become judgmental of others, we need to be reminded that we used to be like that and to some extent, we are still like that and always will be. Any difference in us and the world is because of God’s great love and mercy, not because of any goodness in us.  We need to show that same love to others. To do less is to limit what God can do for us and through us.

40  How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,and grieved Him in the desert! 41  Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41 NKJV

Post 11-05-2015