Friday, January 11, 2013

The Milk of the Word

In the Bible the word "milk" pictures the basic building blocks, the foundational principles of Christianity. Look at these two verses with me:

1 Peter 2:1-2 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:

God wants us to desire the basics. He wants us to like and to enjoy what is the bedrock of Christian principles and practice. These are things like Bible reading/study, meditation on the Word of God, prayer, church attendance, doing good, confession, forgiveness, and sharing Christ with others. But we have to make note here that the "milk" of the Christian life is a replacement for the "rudiments" of this world (Col 2:8,20). God wants us to trade the basics of the kingdom of darkness for the basics of the Kingdom of Light.

(Yes, I know that "kingdom of darkness" should be capitalized for consistency, but I don't like that kingdom and won't show it that dignity. Just a quirk of mine. I don't capitalize devil, or satan either. He doesn't deserve it. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.) 

There are those who get ahead of themselves in the Christian life and try to tackle meat when they haven't yet learned to properly digest milk. Sometimes this has to do with a driven personality, other times leaders push new believers too hard, too fast. Whatever the reason is, this doesn't work. A tower has to have a firm foundation. (Heb 5:12 is a good example of this principle.)

Those that choose to ignore the basics, or practice them simply out of habit and tradition find themselves prime candidates for becoming backslidden. Those who wander, walk, or run away from God do not do so because they can't understand some obscure verse in the Minor Prophets or the book of the Revelation. They go from God because they have ignored the basics, or have done the basics on the outside without the involvement of their heart. (Sometimes we can do the right thing and have it mean nothing to us. See I Cor 3:2)

Our thought today is this. Learn to love, like, enjoy and practice the basics (the milk) of the Christian life. You will be the better for it.

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