Friday, July 11

Proof of growth....

"And though by this time it would be right for you to be teachers, you still have need of someone to give you teaching about the first simple rules of God's revelation; you have become like babies who have need of milk, and not of solid food." Hebrews 5:12 BBE

I look to the tendency of most Christians to go to church on Sunday, do their time listening to those who speak from the pulpit, and then head home, their bibles lying on the back seat of the car, put back on the shelf, or set down by the Lazy Boy, not to be picked up again until the next time. Many don't desire to go to deeper studies, engage other brethren in activities outside the church walls, and therefore short-circuit the natural progression (supernaturally) of the Commission; make ye disciples.

I remember being such a Christian, spending my time in Sunday School class and really not engaging beyond that. Chasing what I thought people wanted me to act like instead of taking the pastor's teaching and breaking it down, understanding what he was saying and asking God to help me understand what He meant, what He wanted me to know. That day in October 2004, when Gene Appel was on stage at Willow Creek speaking of ministering to neighborhoods, God told me that was what He wanted me to do. I laughed, knowing that I could never know what even a simplistic, dedicated-to-God pastor like Appel. But I followed through with what God told me He purposed for me.

I have journeyed from milk to solids, to exquite flavors and bitter fruits, in this journey. But it has all been to understanding and know God, to be true to what He believes, stands for, and has given us to hear. It is my demand from the congregation I served, and any who cross my path, to hold what I say to the Biblical standards and hold me accountable to God for what I speak. But, many are consumed by false doctrines, false teachings, and false words.

To prevent that requires a taste for the Scriptures. Otherwise the Enemy will slowly steer you away from the Truth.

John Wesley said, "Ye have need that one teach you again which are the first principles of religion. And have need of milk - The first and plainest doctrines." Wesley wasn't putting down those who are new to the faith, walking on shaky legs and following a wobbly course as they learn and grow within the Spirit. He was speaking to the multitudes of cultural Christians today, those 83% who have such shallow views of Christianity and faith. Those who, by the natural progression of their journey in faith should be qualfied to speak the Gospel, to teach those behind them in the journey.

The deeper you go into discovering God, the easier it becomes to discern falsehood and mistruths. You must understand the structure, true, but you must first have a strong foundation; principles plainly understood before you can move on the deep and sublime mysteries of God and everything He is.

Unfortunately, there are those who learn the basics and move on to deeper waters and eventually forget what they once knew. You cannot grow a flower if you don't water it's soil. You cannot grow it healthy if you don't take care of the basics, far past the point where it started as a seed.

Matthew Henry says it best in his commentary; "It is a sin and shame for persons that are men for their age and standing in the church to be children and babes in understanding."

Do you have a hunger that cannot just be filled on Sunday by a pastor on stage? Do you take the sermon home, relook at the Scripture and grow in your ability to hear what God would want you to know? Do you find yourself forgetting the basics?

How many Christians do you know that can at least give you a foundation principle for their faith?

Can you?

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