1 Peter 2: 2 – 3

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Yesterday, we looked at the foundational scriptures John 1: 1 & 14. They are bedrock, that upon which we build. Today’s passage is one of the bricks which is laid upon the foundation. Now that we know that Jesus is the Word and that the Word is living and powerful, we are instructed to desire it like babies crave milk. It is our sustenance. It is that which gives us life and causes us to grow. I also like the Passion Translation version of this passage. It reads, “In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life— especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.”

Has the Passion Translation hit upon a goal of yours? Do you desire to “grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life?” I hope your response is “Yes,” and I believe it is, otherwise you would not read a devotional daily. One thing I personally like about this devotional is that it is based on the Word. To me that means the even if you don’t read the part I write, you get a bit of Word every day. You have a verse that comes right to your inbox each morning and you can spend the rest of the day pondering it and finding what it means to you. That is really the key piece. Every day I seek God on what verse He would have me send and what He would have me write but then we get the bonus track. That is the part He conveys to you directly. The Word of the Day may be your jumping off point to a whole day of communing with Him. I love that, and I am always interested in hearing what the Lord has said to you.

When God gave me this to do back in 2006, He had His reasons for beginning it with His Word. I like to think of it as receiving two words from the Lord each day; the first one is His written Word and the second is what He gives me to write. I hope, pray and expect the part that I write to be a rhema word every day. Often it is an idea or nuance which is new to me and that is always exciting. I have journaled verses before just between me and Father and received revelation on it but then when I used that same verse for the Word of the Day it came out completely differently. That tells me that He is on the job writing and supervising.

You can take the verse I send you and journal it with Dad. He will tell you things He did not tell me or sometimes He will expound on what I sent. He has more to show you and more to say and every Word we receive from Him helps us grow and mature. That should be a goal each of us desires. The only way to gain that maturity is the sup on the milk of the Word. So, get as much milk as you can. Crave it like newborns crave milk.

Milk or Meat?

Hebrews 5: 12

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

It is so easy to end up right here, still requiring the milk of the Word instead of the meat. In fact, sometimes it is comfortable. It is a place of little responsibility. Someone else has the responsibility of feeding us. Our job is to listen. We want people to sit under teaching ministries and absorb all they can. However, there comes a time when each of us must arise and put all of it into use. We must pursue maturity even as we continue to absorb the teachings of those who have gone before us.

Eventually, too, we should graduate to meat from milk. Why are our teachers still having to teach kindergarten? The writer of Hebrews says by this time we ought to be teaching and yet we are still suckling. It’s time to step up and grow up.

No one wants a 40 year old baby, not even our teachers. Of course, in the body of Christ there is no age specific parameter. Rather, we all begin knowing very little and grow in our knowledge and wisdom. After a while, though, we ought to be able to stand on our feet and walk. We no longer need someone to hold our hands every step of the way. We always have our elders for those issues which are outside our experience or knowledge but we ought to come to a place where we can handle the milk of the Word with grace.

This is not a call to arrogance or independence. It is encouragement to grow to the full maturity of the Word in Jesus, our Christ. It is time for some of us to stand up and use what we have been given. I believe in soaking in the Word and in teaching but I also believe in doing what we know to do without being coached day in and day out. As long as we stay babies, we have an excuse but God is calling us into maturity, where “I didn’t know,” will no longer suffice. Grow into your full stature while remaining humble and subject to instruction for it is not maturity if you cannot still receive instruction. That is called arrogance and it is dangerous. Rise up and be who you are destined to be. Quit playing at being a Christian and instead put on the full mantle of God in Christ Jesus.