Journal Entry November 29-A, 2005

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Today's "On Track" Reading Begins At
Malachi 3:10

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Meat -Vs- Milk
 
My "on track" reading this morning began at Malachi 3:10.
 
I didn't get past verse :10 (so tomorrow guess where I'll start?), because the reference to "meat" (in God's house) grabbed me.
 
I was drawn to the passage in Hebrews chapter 5 (that relates to that) where the writer is dealing with the subject of Christian growth and is having a serious talk with Christians who should have been much further along in their Christian walk than they were.
 
What was the problem?
 
Here was a group of people who had been saved long enough that they should have been [mature to the point that they were able to be] teachers (of the Word of God) themselves, but something had happened to stunt their growth. What?
 
They obviously strayed from the basics.
 
They must have been hearers of the Word but not doers of the Word. Because when we practice a lifestyle of doing what we know to be true, we don't forget it or stray from it.
 
These people were in need of a teacher to spoon-feed them the "milk"  (basics) of the Word far past the point when that should have been necessary.
 
By all reasonable estimations, they should have been able, by this time, to chew and digest the "meat" of the Word.
 
Meat is bit more difficult to chew and digest than milk isn't it?
 
Milk/babyfood is strained. Baby Christians need to be grounded in the milk  (basics) first. That is the food that causes growth and health to take place initially. When milk is consumed first, we grow strong and straight with a solid foundation on which to build everything else.
 
Bible study is good, but young Christians need to focus most of their early energies on simply reading the Word of God (in order to get a good working knowlege of what is there and what is not there).
 
That way...  the wolves have a much more difficult time finding prey, and cults have a much more difficult time deceiving.
 
Read!
 
As far as study goes--stick to the basics until a good personal working knowledge of the Bible is established (by reading all the way through it for the first time)
 
    Then go on and read it again... 
                 and again... 
                                                                                 and again.... 
 
So often, we run into young Christians who have been saved a whopping 2 or 3 years, they have never read through the Bible even once, and yet, they feel they have no need of instruction or discipleship.
 
In fact, they feel qualified to rebuke and accuse their spiritual elders
(that's not to say we can't learn from babes--we can and often do)
 
We are referring to those who are unskillful in the Word of God (Hebrews 5:11-14) and will not acknowledge that fact--they are puffed up with pride and full of self righteousness and religious lust (ambition). 
 
Because they feel so religious and righteous, they feel that is enough.
 
They will not listen to sound doctrine. They are like those spoken of in Hebrews 5:10--they are dull of hearing
 
They will only listen to teachers and leaders who say the things that make them feel good and important (religious lust = heaping teachers to themselves after what? Their own lusts),  and these teacher are not even feeding good milk.
 
False teachers cannot afford to feed the sheep good milk. If they did, the lambs would grow up and the sheep would be strong and healthy, then fleecing them (or heaping followers to themselves) would be that much more difficult.
 
Strong meat, the scriptures say, belongs only to those "who by reason of use" are able to discern good and evil.
 
We have had been accused (and rebuked) by young, inexperienced Christians who cannot discern between good and evil--because they are lacking in the experience requirement included in Hebrews 5:14 (if that were not the case, they would understand the protocol concerning rebuking and accusing elders).
 
The experience referred to in the phrase, "by reason of use," involves two things:
  1. Careful obedience to the Word of God
  2. Time spent being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
"By reason of use" = Both Obedience & Time

The obedience part can be implemented immediately (growth and the benefits of it begin immediately also).

        The "time" part takes...

well...

                                                                      a little time

Don't expect to be born into the family of God fully grown and able to chew and digest meat. Grow straight and strong God's way.

Drink the Milk First

Next
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Be careful what you eat...

               ... to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet

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