Milk Before Meat
1 Corinthians 3:2 “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it…” ~CSB
We know that when a baby is born, it is born with no teeth developed. The digestive system of the infant has not been formed enough to digest solid foods. Therefore, we feed our babies liquid nourishment at the beginning of their lives, nourishment like milk.
In time, our babies’ digestive systems become stronger and when the teeth develop, they can gradually eat solid foods. We start off with strained vegetables and fruits. This gives them a chance to practice chewing with their newly developed teeth. And when they become toddlers, we can then cut up solid foods like meat, small enough, so they don’t have to chew that much. Their digestive system is ready to digest these meats and the child can grow stronger with these foods.
This is how we are as ‘new creations’ in Christ. We all come to that point where we say, “I have had enough of this. I’m going to give my life to God! I am going to do the right thing from here on!” We give ourselves to Christ and now we are ready to start our journey. What we don’t know is that we have lived so long being trained by the world in ‘what not to do’; that we now must be trained in the way of Christ. We must be 'reborn'.
We pick up the Bible, begin to read and our meditations start. But something happens, we lose focus. Our attention spans are not strong enough for us to maintain or even comprehend God’s Word as we read it. One of the reasons we have a hard time receiving God’s Word is because we forget that we are 'babies' in this new walk.
We are in a new phase as ‘new creations’. We have not yet developed the spiritual ‘teeth’ to chew on some of this new ‘meat’. Meat found in books like Revelations, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Just as we wouldn’t give a newborn a piece of ham, as a new Christian we shouldn’t bite off what we can’t chew.
We must start off with ‘Milk’. In my own opinion, the milk that helped me, started in the book of John. For me, the pieces of the other books come together when I know who the Son of God is. When I read the book of John, my relationship with the Father grows strong. This is where we find our forgiveness, our chance for acceptance with the Father and our place in the kingdom. We discover ourselves as heirs to the kingdom and learn the abilities we have, to claim God’s promises.
It is after we have established this relationship with Jesus, that we can have a relationship with the Father. Then we can be taught by the Holy Spirit how to live righteously. So that we may receive the powers, peace, and protection from God, in all the other books in the Bible. When we develop our spiritual ‘teeth’, we will begin to know Christ in a way that God will allow us to receive what He has for us. This will be in His Word through the other books of the Bible, in His time.
Let us receive the ‘Milk’ of the Lamb first, then, when our digestive system is formed and strong enough to receive the ‘meat’ from God, we will be ready.
May God bless and keep you in the power of His peace as you continue your journey in Jesus’ name.
Grace In Gratitude
1 Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.” ~CSB
This week my wife and I took our children to a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game. Our son likes the team and has a favorite player on that team. It was so amazing for us to see our teenager, standing and passionately yelling for his team and player. I have seen him excited before, but not like this. After the game he thanked his mother and I for taking him and asked, “…when are we coming back?”
I could see the joy in my wife’s heart as she loves giving to people and making their lives better. Especially her children. And to see the look on her face at how grateful her son was…priceless. This is how God is when we receive from Him and show Him gratitude in what He has done for us.
In the text above it says that ALL things created by God are ‘good’. Then it says that we are to receive what God gives us in ‘thanksgiving’. No matter what it looks like to us, it is a blessing. No matter when it comes to us in our lives, it is a blessing. And even if it does not look like a gift, if it comes from God, it is good, and the results of it will be His will for our lives.
This is important to know because, the text continues to state that the gift from God is, “…sanctified by the word of God and by prayer…” If we receive God’s gift, with thanksgiving in our hearts, that gift will be sanctified, because the Word and our prayers have fertilized it like a great crop to be harvested at the right time in our lives. This is how much God loves us. Preparing us for the blessings He has already created for us!
We are to be grateful and thankful to God every day of the year. But at this time of year, let us reflect on the things God has done for us, put those reflections in a ‘mental gift bag’ and give it to the Lord in thanksgiving. Let the Joy of the Lord show in our hearts as we show God how much we appreciate and love Him. Knowing we could not have done what we have accomplished without Him. We would not be where we are today without Him. And we would not know how to love without knowing how much He loved us first!
May God continue to bless and keep you under His love and protection as you journey in Jesus’ name.
The Importance of Obedience
1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice...” ~NLT
My son is not to play video games or have access to his tablet during the week because of school. On school nights, he devotes his time strictly to studies and later he can watch some TV, but no video games. One week, he did well on a test and got his homework done for the week so I told him he could get his tablet and play on it for two hours. I ran an errand and when I came back, I noticed him playing on his video game. I said, “Didn’t I tell you to play on your ‘tablet’, not your video game?”
He responded, “You told me to play on my tablet, but you didn’t tell me ‘not’ to play on my video game.” My son took the statement I gave him and made it his own excuse to play his video game. In the book of First Samuel, King Saul took God’s words and sort of did the same thing.
God told Saul to go, attack the Amalekites and “completely destroy” everything and everyone, (verse 3). God told him not to spare anyone or any livestock. But King Saul took it upon himself to amend God’s orders. He kept the opposing King alive and spared the best of the livestock, sheep, goats, cattle and choice animals, (verses 8-9). When told that he disobeyed God, His response, in verse 15, was that he spared the best sheep, goats, and cattle so that he can sacrifice them to the Lord.
This is when the prophet Samuel said to him, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your sacrifice or your obedience?” In our lives, do we amend God’s orders? Do we turn God’s Word around to suit our needs instead of following his exact instructions? My son tried to get out of trouble from me by amending the order I gave him. He knew he wasn’t supposed to play his games during the week. He also knew I only gave him permission to play with his tablet. My order of the week still stood for his video game yet, he decided to play on it anyway.
King Saul attempted to make what he did right, but eventually realized that he did go against what God told him to do and paid the price with the throne, (verses 24-35). We must be very aware and see clearly what God is instructing us to do. We must follow our orders from him to the letter. Why? Because there is a miracle in the 'exact' direction given in God’s words.
I’ll use the example of picking up my son from football practice. Now, my son knows my Jeep. But I give him specific instructions to watch for me to roll my windows down so that he can see my face before coming to the vehicle. Those detailed instructions can save his life and prevent him from being abducted.
These rules are the same when it comes to us receiving our blessings and in our blessing to others. Let us stop living our lives dismissing God’s orders because it is so easy to do what we want to do. Let us allow ourselves His direction and begin to see the beauty of His blessings in our lives.
May God continue to cover you in His peace as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to rescue each time.” ~NLT
A good running back on a football team disciplines himself to be good at what he does. He trains, he works out and he studies the plays given to him by his coach. As a result, he becomes the best running back in the league.
Other teams begin to study how to keep him from gaining yards or even stopping him from scoring on them. He has proven his strength as a running back. He has become and is known as a threat to the other teams they play. Because of this, the other teams will build strategies on how to stop this running back from accomplishing his mission for his team.
The same situation exists for Christians. God has created you for a purpose and that purpose will be done by walking the same mission of Christ. As we grow as Christians, studying God’s Word and living that Word, we become strong in our faith. This faith is noticed in our walk as followers of Christ.
Have you noticed that the more you go to church, the more you study and live righteously, life seems to be harder at times? That is because the devil has a team together. His mission is to destroy the cause of Christ. When you are that player that sits on the bench, doing nothing for God’s team, Satan doesn’t bother you. As long as you’re not living for Christ, you are actually allowing Satan’s team to benefit from your stagnation.
In other words, God has much power He wants to flow through you. So, when you get off the bench and get into the game, God will surge this power through you and the world will begin to change. But the devil doesn’t want this. This is why things seem to be going wrong in your life. The enemy will come at you with everything he has to prevent you from continuing your journey in Christ.
But know that you serve a God that loves you so much, He will step in and rescue you from all of it. If something occurs in your life because of Satan, God will take those negative results and turn them into something beautiful. You will be given a brand-new testimony about God moving in your life!
Stay the course in being a righteous person. No matter what life throws at you. Your mission, (should you choose to accept it), will go on and flourish like a blade of grass pushing through concrete. God will reveal you as not only His child, but also His purpose for fertilizing the Garden of Eden.
May God allow you peace as you continue your Journey in Jesus’ name.
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.