Saturday, November 3, 2012

No Longer a Baby

One Year Bible
New Testament Passage (for Sat., Nov. 3, 2012): Hebrews 5:1-14

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)

We all love babies.  They are cute and cuddly.  They smile at us and our hearts melt.  They speak to us of innocence and endless possibities.  No one ever looked at their baby and hoped someday that they would grow up to be a derelict.  We hope and dream of the great things these children can be when they grow up.

But, as wonderful as those early days are, they must END.  This baby must grow up.  The wonderful simplicity of early childhood must give way to the challenges and responsiblities of growing up.  Decisions will be made.  Direction will be taken.  Character will be formed. Patterns of life will be established.

It is the same way with followers of Jesus Christ.  WE MUST GROW UP.  A teacher years ago lamented the plight of many believers in a message he called "The Eternal Childhood of the Believer."  He stated that there is something about Christianity that too often encourages believers to never grow up -- to stay babies. 

One of the themes of the Book of Hebrews is the MATURITY OF THE BELIEVER.  Repeated we hear,"Let us go on...",  "Let us run the race..." -- twelve times we are encouraged "LET US...". 

Food can be used as an example.  Babies can only handle milk.  Their systems are not able to digest the more diverse and complicated sources of nutrition.  But the demands of growth and life push the baby to a fuller more adequate diet.  Similarly, many believers continue after years of walking with Jesus to subsist on the slimmest of spiritual diets.  They refuse to be taken deeper.  Therefore, at times their faith can be "a mile wide and an inch deep."

So, let us go on to a fuller diet.  Let's order steak!  Read your Bible to understand it.  Stay in the Word and prayerfully ask God for insight.  Seek those who have already walked these paths.  They can teach you.  As the writer of Hebrews states, learn "again the first principles of the oracles of God."  You will GROW.  You will become STRONGER.  You will win some battles.  You will rise higher in the enjoyment of God's presence.  "Let us go on to maturity."

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