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.
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?
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?
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.
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).
the wolves have a much more difficult time finding prey, and cults have a much more difficult time deceiving.
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...
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.
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).
referred to in the phrase, "by reason of use," involves two things:
Careful obedience to
the Word of God
spent being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
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...
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