One of the deacons at my church has been teaching Wednesday night Bible class this month, and the key verse has been 1 Peter 2:2. “As newborn babes, (you should) desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
The focus of the teaching has been to encourage spiritual growth among our membership.
“Newborn babes” is a phrase that paints a clear picture.
Babies are precious and sweet and loveable, but they’re also whiney and needy and immature, prone to make messes they can’t clean up. But we don’t expect them to stay that way. We want them to grow and strengthen and learn, and apply what they learn.
Milk helps them get there. Milk calms them, nourishes them, and gives them the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
God compares his word to milk.
Consuming the word of God — routinely reading and studying the Bible — helps us to grow into mature Christians.
I have two sons who are both fairly typical teenagers.
Left to their own devices, they would spend their entire day sleeping, eating and playing video games.
I love my boys and I believe there’s greatness inside them. But, the casual observer would see laziness, selfishness, moodiness and general immaturity.
When my wife and I complain to other parents about our sons, they say their sons are the same way. They all have a common condition called “being a teenage boy.”
Oftentimes, Christian development seems to get stuck in the teenager stage.
Have you ever seen Christians who are lazy, moody, are thin-skinned, want to be entertained, think they know it all, won’t listen to wise counsel, won’t apply what they’ve been repeatedly taught, blame others for their shortcomings, won’t take responsibility, won’t get serious about important matters?
Are you that person? How do you know?
Do you get defensive when people ask you why you’re consistently late to church, or miss it altogether?
Do you think Bible study and Sunday school are optional, or a waste of time?
Does your Bible collect dust six days a week?
Are you a part of a clique at your church?
Do you avoid stewardship?
Do you refuse to make yourself available to the church leadership and the church body?
Do you refuse to give, or wrestle with the principle of giving financially to your church?
It’s not a matter of age. It’s a matter of maturity.
The Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Cor. 13:11)
A mature Christian embraces godly instruction, devotes herself to the things of God and routinely examines her own walk in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).
It all starts with submission to the word of God, that spiritual milk, which calms you, nourishes you, and gives you the nutrients you need to grow strong and healthy.
God loves you enough to say come as you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay as you are.
Star Managing Editor Anthony Cook is pastor at Christian Fellowship Bible Church: 256-235-3558; firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @Acook_Star.