Friday, June 3, 2011

Eating His Words

I love the many practical analogies in the Bible.  I also love to eat, so the analogies that are about food I particularly find appealing. 

I have been thinking a lot the last couple of weeks about what separates a carnal Christian - one who belongs to Christ and wants to follow Him but remains mostly unchanged by Him, and a growing and vibrant Christian - one who belongs to Christ and follows Him with a wholehearted devotion that is not only evident to those around him but also leads to a more fulfilled life.  I keep coming back to this:  The Bible.  Our lack of maturity or gain of maturity simply rides on studying, knowing, and applying God's Word to our lives daily

Thankfully I am able to eat food everyday, several times a day in fact.  The food is available to me, and I am physically capable of eating it.  I need food to not only survive, but also to thrive.  Food is not only a need for me, though.  I also want food and rather enjoy a variety of it throughout each day.  I also feed my children and make sure my husband also is well-fed.

Why of earth then do I neglect to feast upon His Word sometimes???

Do I think I can just handle life on my own?  I don't need the food I gain from knowing His Word???

Do I not realize that by studying, learning, knowing, and applying His Word daily that I am actually getting to know my Savior better and letting Him mold me and shape me into a more mature, more real, more relevant, and more fulfilled Christian???

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

Once we truly taste the goodness of the LORD it is difficult for anything else to satisfy us fully.  Sure, there are times when we make attempts to be satisfied elsewhere, but eventually He brings us back and reminds us of what we were missing.

"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." (1 Peter 2:2,3)

Think about how a baby craves milk.  He must have it to live!  After receiving that milk he is so satisfied.  This milk helps Him grow.

"Anyone who lives 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 to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:13,14)

Milk is wonderful in the beginning.  This is the foundation, the first truths we learn when we first become a follower of Christ.  Then we must grow and mature by not only seeking the milk, the basics, but moving on to seeking more truth, the meat of God's Word.  I love the phrase "constant use" in the passage.

Constant: –adjective
1. not changing or varying; uniform; regular; invariable
2. continuing without pause or letup; unceasing
3. regularly recurrent; continual; persistent
Am I continuing without pause or letup in my study of the Word of God, the Bible?  Am I not just studying it but also persistently using the truths found within it to discern good from evil?

Maybe you feel overwhelmed when you look at your Bible (if you even have one, yet).  The first step is to ask the LORD to help you.  There are many great helps for studying the Bible, but I recommend one to start with: "How to Study Your Bible; The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method," by Kay Arthur.  You can find it on Amazon for under $2 plus shipping.  This method of study has helped me personally in my quest for knowing God more through knowing His Word more and looking to Him to help me apply His truth in my life, for His glory.

This is yet another area of my life that takes intentionality.  Some days I don't feel like sitting down a reading my Bible.  Other days I cannot wait to do so!  Usually I find that the days I don't feel like it follow many days that I have not really taken much time with my Savior to grow and be filled by Him.  When I get in a funk like that, it may take a couple of days to feel like I want to be constant again.  However, relying only on feelings is generally not a good idea.  I know I need to do it, so I must.  Then I can say like Jeremiah:

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty." (Jeremiah 15:16)

Are you feasting on His words today?  Are you eating His words lately letting them change you for the better because of His goodness and love for you?  Or are you still hungry and thirsty because you have not yet found the source of true satisfaction?

"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)

Thank you, Jesus.

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