Monday, November 10, 2014

CRAVE THE WORD (1 Peter Chapter 2)

1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”

On one of our trips to Uganda a visit with a pastor was disrupted by the incessant crying of a small child.  In speaking to the father of the child it was discovered that the girl—who appeared to be no bigger than a baby--was in fact about 5 years old.  She had a disorder that prevented her from digesting her food properly.  She had not grown because she could not eat.  Steps were taken to facilitate a visit to a specialist.

What is true in the physical realm holds true in the spiritual.  God wants us to grow up spiritually into Christ-like maturity.  Just as a newborn baby is expected to grow physically, the newly born again child of God is expected to grow up also.  And there is something very wrong if a Christian is never growing.  The number one reason why they sometimes don’t is spiritual malnutrition.  They do not grow because their spiritual diet is lacking.

The command in this verse is to “long for” the Word.  The term speaks of having a great desire for something.  One translation uses the word “crave” to express the thought.  Our desire for the Word ought to be like that of a newborn baby craving mother’s milk.  There is nothing more important to a newborn baby.  They will loudly express their displeasure if it is denied to them.  Imagine if a believer did the same (i.e. loudly wailing) if for some reason the Word of God was not availed to himJ

New born babies don’t need to be taught to like mother’s milk, they instinctively long for it from birth.  Christians are like that too.  The Spirit of God puts a craving for the Word into the heart of the newly born-again child of God.  By the Spirit you craved the Word when you were first saved and through the influence of the Word you grew.  Underlying the craving for the Word is another Spirit-led desire.  Believers don’t crave the Word simply because they are commanded to, they crave the Word because they yearn to know Jesus better.

This craving for the Word has practical implications.  The believer has certain responsibilities to the Word of God that are to be approached with a “craving the Word” sort of attitude.  It is necessary to hear (Cf. Romans 10:17), read (Cf. Revelation 1:3), study (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:15), memorize (Cf. Psalm 119:11), and meditate on (Cf. Psalm 1:2) the Word.  Spiritual growth then takes place as the Spirit of God applies the Word of God to the heart of the believer.

George Mueller once wrote of the need for us to find spiritual nourishment in God’s Word: “I saw more clearly than ever, that the first and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord.  The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished…Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.  I began, therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning…for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.  And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything that the first thing a child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for the inner man.  As the outer man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man…Now what is food for the inner man?--not prayer, but the Word of God—and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”

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