Sep 07, 2018
Blue Bell ice cream and blue bonnets in the spring were two of the first cultural things I experienced on my move to Texas a few years ago. I basked in the beauty of the awesome purple blankets of flowers that waved their elongated heads along every interstate highway and in every grassy field. And after just the first taste, I began to consume copious quantities of homemade vanilla Blue Bell ice cream. But I quickly realized something was wrong when after a couple weeks I began to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The very delicious (and fattening) Blue Bell ice cream was the source of my problem.
I worried that I had totally become totally intolerant to all milk. I worried that I would also have to give up the frothy Chefette Restaurant thick shakes when I visited my island, Barbados. I took a chance on my next visit. Nothing happened. No tummy aches. No bloating. No embarrassing music from the lower extremities. I tried other local milk products. Safe. I came to the realization that not All Cows Eat Grass. I discovered that not all milks are safe for your diet. I also became wary of milk processes, additives and substitutes.
The apostle Peter was also wary of the worldly substitutes to the spiritual nutrition of the first century church when he entreated them:
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk
so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.
Cry out for this nourishment, ~ 1 Peter 2:2 (NLT)
He was addressing a very young and vulnerable church with members scattered all over Asia. In this verse he implicitly warns of potentially poisonous and harmful substitutes for the Word of God that undermine a believer's salvation experience.
Here are five nuggets I have gleaned from this verse:
1. Have the ATTITUDE of a newborn babe. Babies wake up crying for their bottle. They would keep us awake all night if they don't get it. They don't want juice, they don't want water and they don't want the pacifier. They want milk! What is your attitude towards getting your feed and fill of God's Word? Do you ever find yourself awake at night crying for more?
2. Develop an APPETITE for God's Word. We crave chocolate and sugar. We crave drugs and alcohol. We crave television shows and seek mall therapy. You can tell your craving by how much time and money you spend on it. How much do you crave God's word? Do you get withdrawal symptoms if you miss a day of not opening your Bible? Is getting into the word a bother and an inconvenience or is it a desperate longing?
3. ABSORB it in its pure form. In a growing culture of substitutes, Vita Mixes and Bullet blenders, we can find ourselves shaking up the truth of God's word with all sorts of additives and mixes. We've become comfortable with the idea that everything is relative. Believe me, it's not! Peter describes the Word as "pure"—without hidden ingredients, free from deceit. Psalm 119:160 tells us, "The sum of Your Word is truth." Are you convinced that the Word of God is absolute objective truth and completely relevant to your life now and in the hereafter?
4. ANTICIPATE growth. Just as babies are expected to grow physically, new believers are expected to grow and develop into mature Christians. Just as it is obvious that a child is mentally or physically underdeveloped, it is obvious when a Christian is under developed. It is obvious in our conversations, in our appetites, and in our ability to make good decisions. Can you tell your spiritual age as a believer?
5. ATTAIN satisfaction. Years ago I had a serious craving for ice. I would wake in the middle of the night to eat ice. I would drive to the nearest service station to get the crunchy kind my refrigerator did not make. I did not know that I had a serious iron deficiency. Once I addressed the deficiency with an iron supplement the craving for ice went away. My body became satisfied when I took the right kind of nutritional supplement it needed. Peter suggests that on a sub-standard diet, believers may be having less than a "full experience of salvation." Are you experiencing less than what God intended for you?
Ask yourself. Got milk? Pure Spiritual Milk? Have I actually read the Bible lately? Or am I taking a milk substitute?
With all the social media posts, podcasts, bible apps, tele-evangelists and christian books around today we must be sure we are getting pure unadulterated Word of God.
Open a bible today and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the secret things of God to you, to take you to a place of where you can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.