Spiritual Milk

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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

So, Let It Grow!

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.​ — James 1:3 NLT


Although James addresses this letter to the “twelve tribes”, the Holy Spirit included it in the Bible for our benefit as well. We are brothers and sisters of the Christian Jews, James and Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the statement that Jesus made when He said “in this world, you will be offended”. Troubles will come our way, of that we can be sure. There is a reason God allows trials and temptations to come into our lives. God knows our maturity level and what decisions we will make in those trying times. He allows those times so we will know where we are spiritually. Most of the time, if not all the time, we find that we have a long way to go to get to where God wants us to be. When the trials come, do we whine and complain or do we accept the situation realizing that God has put us here so we learn to depend on Him? There is nothing more sobering than when we realize that we have done what Peter did when he said he didn’t know Jesus. Oh, I am sure that we would never verbalize that, but what do our actions tell those around us? Like Paul, we should always realize that we are not there yet, but we should be focused on getting there.
 
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT


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

Post 05-21-2017

Growing Up in the Spirit

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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!

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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

WHY?

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12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12 NLT
Why do Christians have to endure trials and persecutions? I suppose people have been asking this question since the first century. The disciples never quite understood why Jesus had to suffer and die until after the Resurrection. God does not allow us to go through suffering so that He will know where we are on our journey, He allows it so that we will know. He allows it so that our “I can” will turn into “No, I can’t but God can”. “No pain, no gain” applies to spiritual growth as well as physical. Would understanding the “why” really make the pain any less real or painful?  I am sure that since Jesus was in on the plan of redemption, He understood the why, but that didn’t keep Him from asking His Father if there might not be another way. As he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
 

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”–Matt. 26:42 NIV

 

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

Post 04-10-2017

Maturity Requires Daily Nourishment

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I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. — Philippians 1:9 NLT

The way we keep on growing spiritually is to keep meditating on God’s Word. We must spend time alone with God each and every day. Reading God’s Word, meditating on it, praying and practicing what we have learned is the way we grow and attract others to Christ. We can only attempt to live pure and blameless lives, but it would be totally impossible without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The time we spend in study will help us to live lives filled with the righteous character of God. This will bring praise and glory to God, which is our primary purpose for being here.


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

 

Post 2-24-2017

Stay Hungry, My Friends

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11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. — Hebrews 5:11-14 NIV

Jesus is the bread of life and the Scriptures are food for the redeemed of God. As babes in Christ, we need the milk of the Word, the verses that explain to us about our salvation. As we grow and mature (hopefully) , we need to dig deeper and learn about our responsibilities as followers of Christ.  Just as there are natural foods that we don’t care to eat, there are Scripture passages we don’t want to learn and adhere to.  Just as the natural man suffers without the proper nutrients, the Spiritual man suffers without a daily serving of different kinds of Scriptures.  We need scriptures that encourage us to study, meditate, pray, praise and teach us to be thankful for every second of our lives. Yes, it is hard to praise in distressful times, but it is necessary if the Spirit man inside us is going to grow. Just as we keep milk in our natural diet as we grow, we need to keep the “milk of the Word”, which is salvation, in our spiritual diets.  But the natural body needs more than milk and the Spiritual body needs to know that Jesus is more than just our Redeemer. He is our example, our righteousness, our shield, our rock, our strength, our healing, our Savior and He wants to be our Lord. To paraphrase Hebrews 5:14: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constantly eating the Word have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matt. 5:6 NIV
Post 08-24-2015