Grow up! – Maturity is defined by what you eat…
(This series of posts is a follow-up to a sermon preached at Cross and Crown on October 15 by Pastor Mike Geiger. The video to that sermon is found at THIS LINK.)
“Like newborn babies crave pure spiritual milk…now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
What do you crave? I have to say that it is much easier to crave the food that is not so good for me. At our pastors’ conference earlier this week the snack table was filled with chips, candy bars, rice crispy bars, and coolers of soda as well as water. There was a bowl of grapes and a cooler of water. Inside I wanted to load up on the things that weren’t so good for me. I will admit in the afternoon I broke down and ate a Baby Ruth candy bar…it was good and I haven’t had one in a long time! But I wanted another…
Don’t you wish when you ate a handful of carrots you would crave more of that? Don’t you wish when you had a green salad, you’d want another one later in the day? Craving things that are good for you is part of growing up. I hate to admit it, but I still struggle to crave the food that is good for me.
Spiritual maturity is very similar. The world around us has so many other things we “crave.” We love to watch hours of TV, Netflix or YouTube videos. We can spend hours cruising through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. We dream about the weekend to head to the ranch, the ball diamond, or to the backyard BBQ. At face value these things aren’t inherently bad…it’s just not feeding our faith.
Spiritual maturity comes when we crave “pure spiritual milk.” This “milk” is the basic truth that Jesus loves you by living for you, dying for you and rising again. It is perhaps the clear teachings of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is realizing the mercy of God that reaches out to us to ensure us we are forgiven, loved, and secure in God’s love.
But spiritual maturity doesn’t stay with the basic truths of God’s love, but digs in deeper so that we can help to teach others the truths of Jesus. “…become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
So here’s a suggestion. Consider how often you are “eating” something from the Word of God and working to put it into practice. Perhaps a start is to get the “Verse of the Day” from biblegateway.com. Perhaps getting a daily devotion from “whataboutjesus.com.” Begin to “taste and see that the Lord is good” once again and realize that healthy spiritual food, like healthy physical food, brings greater energy, healthier emotions, clearer perspective, and much more.
Return regularly to the “pure spiritual milk.” Eat solid food so “by constant use” you are being trained to “distinguish good from evil.”
What do you think? What have you found helpful to grow spiritually a little every day?
What benefits do you have when you are growing in the love of Jesus and his Word?