My Musings – Got Milk? This question is asked in what is arguably one of the most memorable advertising campaigns in history. While most consumers readily recognize the health benefits of drinking milk, it usually is not their beverage of choice. Instead they prefer soft drinks, bottled water, coffee, sports drinks or something else reputed to have a bit more “gusto.” That is, of course, unless it is combined with cookies, cake, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or the morning bowl of cereal. It’s at times such as these that people realize that
the time that they crave milk the most is when they don’t have any.
You know what I’m talking about. That sinking feeling as you pour your cereal into the bowl, slice the banana, and discover that the carton in the fridge is nearly empty (who would do that anyway?). It is something that we likely all identify with, which is what made the “Got Milk?” campaign so memorable. Remember? That peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth and no milk to wash it down with.
Peter, a disciple of Christ’s, recognized this same thing in his own disciples when he wrote “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (2 Peter 2:2, NIV 1984). After Pentecost, many had put their faith in Christ (had been “born again’) but were not growing in their walk with Christ. Perhaps, like the milk drinkers above, they recognized the spiritual benefits of growing in their relationship with Christ, but for whatever reason they were not craving it.
You see, being “born again” is an event that happens at a point of time. Spiritual growth and maturity, on the other hand, is a process that takes place over time. Like any newborn, the process starts with the “milk” that will nourish and nurture us. We need this as a sure foundation before we can move on to solid food and develop into faithful disciples that consistently walk in His steps.
The word “growing,” is what is known as a present perfect progressive tense verb. It indicates an action that began in the past (accepting Christ), continues in the present (our everyday walk with Christ) and will continue in the future (in increasing measure). Our walk with Christ begins with uncertain and tentative baby steps on a smooth and level surface. As our walk progresses, we can take bigger and bigger steps as we begin to navigate steeper and rougher terrain with increased confidence and assurance. As we mature and move on to “solid food,” our craving for pure spiritual milk increases. “Anyone who lives [solely] on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves.” (Hebrews 5:13-14, NIV 1984).
So, what are some of these “teachings about righteousness,” the “solid foods” that train and mature us? Here are just a few:
D – Desiring what God desires.
I – Is Christ-like in attitude.
S – Spirit-led lifestyle.
C – Choosing the role of a servant.
I – Illuminated by the Word.
P – Praying on all occasions.
L – Learning spiritual wisdom.
E – Engaged with the bride (the Church).
S – Suffering with Christ.
H – Holding out against sin.
I – Involvement in evangelism.
P – Proven by love.
In future blogs, we will take a brief look at each one of these.
My Advice – In the meantime, have you “tasted that the Lord is good?” Have you been “born” into God’s family by accepting Christ as your personal Savior? If not, read my blogs under “The Born Again Experience” that can show you how. Maybe you are “born again” but are still on a milk only diet? Maybe you are ready to move on to more solid food? Check out my blogs under “Got Spiritual Milk?” to help you grow and mature in your Christian faith. “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive.” (2 Peter 1:8, NIV 1984).