Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Solid Food!

“You need milk, not solid food.” Hebrews 5:12

            By the third grade, all the students and teachers realized that Daniel always brought an insulated lunch bag to school to keep his milk cool. That in itself, was not a radical thing to do. But in his case, milk was all his lunch bag contained. Finally his teacher met with the principal and they decided to talk with Daniel’s parents.

            “This may seem strange to you, Mrs. Phillips but we are concerned about your son’s diet in that he seems to only be drinking milk; no solid foods.”

            “Once we realized how packed-full of protein, vitamin D and calcium milk is, his father and I decided there was nothing better Daniel could take-in each day,” said Mrs. Phillips.

            “Do you mean to say you son eats no solid food?”

            “That’s correct, he only drinks milk. Of course we add little flavor treats at home and on weekends like chocolate, vanilla, and ice cream. We all need a little variety in our diets!”

            Fortunately for Daniel, the school provided professional dietary help for the Phillips family which included adding vegetables, grain, and fruits.

            Although this fictionalized version of extreme behavior seems silly or worse to us, we are warned by God to move away from a spiritual diet based on milk alone. Specifically, we are cautioned that instead of being able to teach others and understand more of His teachings, we remain as children, with stunted comprehension.

·         Hebrews 5:7-14  While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. 11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.  NLT

·         1 Cor. 3:1-4  Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?  NLT

·         Hebrews 6:1-3   So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. NLT

It’s easy to keep on the “Milk Diet”. We are familiar with it. We know by default how to respond to most situations. We are not calling attention to ourselves. We blend in. More importantly, we lie to ourselves. Paul tells us that we are actually “still controlled by your sinful nature and living like people of the world.”

·         Eph. 4:14-16  Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.  NLT

Any parent will confirm how sweet and endearing a little toddler learning to walk is. Their life is new and full of adventure. However, at age 23, the former toddler is not quite as endearing unless they have matured and changed. The same is true of our walk with the Lord.

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