This past Sunday at Renovation Church, I had the honor of teaching through an ancient letter written by a church leader named Peter. Specifically, we studied 1 Peter 1:22-2:3 and discovered together the power of God’s Word.
At the end of this passage, in 1 Peter 2:2-3, Peter instructs us to crave God’s Word in the same way a newborn baby desires milk:
1 Peter 2:2-3
2 Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, 3 if you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As many of you begin a new work week on this Monday (or have today off due to it being Memorial Day), I want to remind you of how this passage applies to our lives today. The first thing we need to consider is exactly HOW newborn infants desire milk. If you have ever had a newborn in your home, you know that when a baby is hungry, that baby will let you know. When Ava was a baby, I was in awe at how such little lungs could produce such ear-shattering cries!
The other thing we know about newborns is that, on average, newborns eat 7 – 12 times a day. Keeping this picture in mind (and relating it to the Scriptures), I find it fascinating that the Psalmist proclaims, “I praise you seven times a day for your righteous judgments (Psalm 119:164).”
The truth is, very few of us spend time with God by meditating on the Bible even once a day – let alone 7 times a day. The vast majority of Christians in our churches are malnourished; seeking to survive off of one meal a week from their pastor. Peter makes it plain – If you want to grow in your Christian faith, it begins by learning to meditate on, love, and prayerfully read the Scriptures on a daily basis.
The second observation I want to point out for you is his emphasis on the purity of this word (desire the PURE milk of the word). Purity means it is undiluted by the things of this world. In far too many churches, the Scriptures have become diluted by the pastor’s attempt at creativity or church growth. Most sermons in outward-focused and contemporary churches (similar to Renovation Church) hold to a high view of Scripture in their statement of faith but the weekly sermons paint a drastically different picture.
Many pastors do not teach the Bible.
Instead, they come up with 3 – 5 different points they want to convey to the audience THEN go to the Bible to try to find proof texts to defend these points. In other words, the Biblical text is not the main point of the message; the pastor’s creative ideas are and the biblical text simply serves as a springboard for the pastor’s agenda/vision. This type of preaching may grow a large church but it will not produce disciples – it only creates spiritual consumers. It leaves the members of the church malnourished and untrained in the deep things of God.
As you begin this week, here are a few questions to wrestle with:
1. What are some ways you can make studying the Bible a daily discipline so that you will continue to grow in your faith? What are some activities you need to cut out of your schedule so you have time to simply BE with God?
2. As you gather with your church on Sundays, ask yourself the question, “Is the pastor using the Bible as a springboard for his/her ideas or is the pastor faithfully teaching the Scripture in it’s original context?” If you find that the majority of the messages are not faithful expositions of Scripture, approach your pastor from a attitude of genuine humility and love, seeking to hear what he/she has to say.
I hope all of you have a great week. As usual, if you are facing a particular challenge or simply want someone to talk to, I would love to connect with you. You can send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org