THE STORY OF A BLIND MAN ON A CLIFF

Blind man

Once upon a time, there was a blind man walking along the trail of a steep canyon. He was used to living on his own and was confident he could hike to the other side. However, as he began to tire, he became careless and started to zigzag along the trail.

Soon he began to walk much closer to the drop-off of a thirty foot cliff. Even though the brittle ledge began to crumble beneath him, he didn’t realize how dangerously close he was to the edge.

“I see you’re having trouble walking this trail”, a passing hiker said. He stopped and pulled some headphones out of his backpack. “Here’s some soothing choir music to comfort you. Peace along the way, my friend”.

So he continued, kicking up loose gravel and billows of dust with each step. His foot nearly slipped off a time or two, but he kept on, enthralled by the music.

A little while later, he came upon another hiker.

“You have so much potential,” he said. “Don’t ever criticize yourself.” He put a hand on his shoulder and smiled broadly. “Tell yourself that you are smart, that you are able, that you are loved. That’ll give you a shot in the arm, right buddy?” He stuck his hand out for a firm handshake and was on his way.

Shortly thereafter, he came across another hiker. “What you need to do”, this one insisted, “is realize that God wants you to succeed and prosper!” The blind man gave him a confused look, but he continued on, “You must boldly declare words of victory to reach your dreams of success and achievement!” With that, he gave him a pat on the back so hard that the blind man almost fell over. “Be a winner, not a whiner!” he added, yelling over his shoulder as he passed the blind man.

The blind man continued on, perilously close to the edge. Just before he was to take a step over the cliff that would be his last, a man came up from behind him and tackled him, rolling him towards the opposite wall of rock.

“Dude, are you okay?” he asked, dusting off his jeans. “You could have fallen over the cliff!”

“Man, what are you talking about?” the blind man replied, picking up his stick. “I’m fine, no thanks to you!”

“No, really, man, look…”

Frustrated, the hiker stops in mid-sentence when he realized the man couldn’t see.

“Umm….listen,” he states, as he picked up rocks and threw them over the cliff. “Hear that?”

“Hear how long it took for those rocks to hit the ground?”

Seeing the look of disbelief on the blind man’s face, he continues.

“HELLO!” he yells, putting a hand up to his ear.

….. “HELLO …Hello …hello”  the canyon echoed back.

“See what I mean?” he asked.

The blind man began to shake. He got down on his hands and knees, and crawled ever so slowly towards the edge. He ran his hand along the rim, and backed off again.

Horrified, he quickly scooted back to the canyon wall.

“My God, you’re right!”

“Yes, buddy,” He replies, “I’m just glad it wasn’t too late.”*

*******

 Dear Friends,

The blind man in this story desperately needed one thing—a strong warning–not soothing music or a pep talk.

Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? And yet, I believe that many of our pulpits today shy away from an equally dire warning, which is the warning of the seriousness and consequences of sin.

In an effort to stay popular and not scare anyone away, the teaching and proclamation of the whole gospel is avoided and traded in for a more “relevant” and “less offensive” message.

I wonder how often we hear the word Repent.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)

True repentance isn’t merely a passing remorse out of a shallow fear of punishment; it is a heartfelt conviction, an attitude of humility and gratitude for God’s forgiveness. It is turning away, in both the mind and heart, from the self to God. It comes out of an honest look at the reality of sin and the need for God’s grace.

Just like the last hiker in the story who warned the blind man of the danger of the ledge, we as believers are told to show the same diligence and urgency about sin. We are to “save others with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” (Jude 23)

Lest anyone think that Christianity is nothing but “hell, fire, and brimstone”, it isn’t a denial of God’s judgment either…and when I say judgment, I mean that we will all stand before God one day. However, as surely as I say this, I can also say that those who know Christ as Lord and Savior will be overwhelmed by His great love, a love that allowed His Son to the cross to pay for our sin.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)

My hope is that you do attend a church that is dedicated to teaching the pure and simple gospel message, and that you have come to know Christ as a result of repentance of sin. If you have not, I urgently plead to you to make that decision today. Your eternal destiny depends on trusting Christ as the only one who can and has taken that awful penalty away.

Consider the church you attend. Do you hear the full gospel story, both the bad news as well as the good news? Is the fact that we are all sinners in dire need of God’s mercy clearly communicated? Does your church adhere to preach the reality of hell to those who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior?

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” – John 5:24

* Original story, inspired by a metaphor by Kirk Cameron, “The Way of the Master”

 

 

 

 

 

FROM MY CHRISTIAN COUSIN IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Dear Friends,

 

My cousin Hoda

My cousin Hoda

Today I’d like to share a pretty neat conversation I had with my cousin Hoda, who lives in Egypt. (Sorry the pic is so big ~ major issues with uploading this week! I’m just glad I got it posted at all!).  Anyway, she was in the states on vacation, and (after catching up on her and her family), our talk almost immediately turned to the condition and welfare of Egypt itself. Since the Revolution of 2011, I’ve been keenly aware of the precarious position that my family and many other Christians are living in in that part of the world.

As you may know, Egypt went from bad to worse even after the initial revolution with the “free” election of Mohamed Morsi, who was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He granted himself unlimited power and issued an Islamic-backed constitution. Undoubtedly opposed by Christians and even moderate Muslims, the people rose again and forced this loser to step down by the summer of 2013.

Fast forward to their second-ever-in-history election to their current President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who, in my cousin’s words, is a good guy and finally looks to be a better leader for Egypt. He doesn’t appear to be as aligned with the terrorist groups or the Muslim brotherhood that have reaped such havoc in the country. So far so good.

So, while we may all read the headlines, it’s not every day that we get a glimpse of this situation from an insider’s viewpoint. I gained some wonderful gems of insight from her, a testimony we won’t ever get from the news.

First of all, she said, the outcry for positive change in Egypt was not instigated by the military (as we have been told), but by the power of the people. I bookmarked this in my mind. If a socialist country could band together through the sheer power of their people, how much more can we as American citizens use our power in a democracy?

And then what she said next was an eye-opener. She said, “Margaret, had it not been for the election of Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt would have turned into another Syria or Iraq, [in terms of Radical Islamic dominance and oppression to Christians] within a very short time.

And then she added, “Christians were praying and fasting around the clock, standing in the gap, and I believe that made all the difference”.

I guess when all you do is hear the news reports, you don’t really realize how God moves behind the scenes. As with any trial in life, it’s one thing when you are praying for a situation that you’re not directly involved in and quite another when you are the one experiencing it.

Yet, as I talked to my cousin, I realized that when trials are great, so is strength in Christ.

I could see that this dependence on God’s grace produces a special joy and undeniable zeal for Him. It is a living testimony of His sustenance, a wake-up call to those at ease. There is a certain added vigor, a sensitivity to His Spirit, and a strength that only comes from trial.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

She reminded me of the story of Gideon, the Israeli Army commander who’s story is told in Judges 7. He was chosen to lead the army against the Midianites. Although he only had 300 men against their thousands, God gave him victory by confusing the enemy till they started to fight amongst themselves. Well, she said, “that’s exactly what happened with the Muslims! They started fighting amongst themselves!

Even more than that, according to her testimony, many Muslims themselves turned to Christ during this time. Of those that did, she said they devoured their Bibles word by word…and they wondered why we don’t read it more!

Listening to her, I wondered how many other countless stories God has already weaved in spite of the atrocities of all the fighting in the Middle East.

I don’t believe we’ll understand all the purposes God will bring about from the evil in the world until we’re with Him in eternity, but I do believe He is with each believer in undeniable ways.

Though He has been merciful to His own minority in Egypt and they are relatively stable for now, that doesn’t in any way diminish our own diligence in prayer for all the Middle East as they face what I believe is the greatest evil we know today. The tide is troublesome and disheartening and the enemy is relentless against those who love the Lord. Please keep each in your diligent prayers. Especially now.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ATHEIST

Dear Atheist,

CreationIf you say there is no God, that we are just physical beings meant to return to oblivion and dust, what’s inside us that makes us desire love, appreciate beauty, or laugh out loud?

Is it possible that the molecules of our brains somehow mix at just the right proportion to create emotion?

Do you ever ask yourself: If there is nothing more within the capsule we call our bodies, are we no more than puppets of flesh that shouldn’t even have a name? If our mind was just an evolution of the physical being of our brains, without an intelligent Creator, how can we trust our thoughts?

If we somehow evolved out of chaos, each molecule arranged to form our being, how is there the moral capacity to know right from wrong?

Do we just react to the elements that have randomly crossed the span of time we are on this Earth? If we are, how is it that we have free will?

If we are a mass of inhabitants on Earth that have multiplied by the millions, while we forever spin on a planet that came together by the forces of the universe to somehow sustain life

Why would it matter what we did with our lives?

If we have intelligence to design and build buildings, where and when was the existence of original intelligence?

If we can save lives with a scalpel, where and when was the existence of original skill?

If we can cultivate the earth for food, who made the seed? If you say the fruit, who made the fruit?

When and how was the first masterpiece of art or music ever crafted?

What or Who created creativity?

How do we know good and evil?

If there is no God, then what or who has brought on the origin of good? In the expanse of space and nothingness, where did kindness begin? How was benevolence conceived?

Where is the hope beyond destruction and heartache? Is there vindication of evil to satisfy our deep-seated need for justice and an end of the pain of this life?

If good and evil had an absolute beginning, won’t there be an absolute victory of one or the other? Can you or I utterly end this struggle? Won’t whatever or whoever orchestrated the beginning also have the capacity to bring about the end?

How is it that we can contemplate eternity?

In regards to all of the above, can an undefined “life-force” of energy possess good to instill compassion within man? Can it distribute intelligence? Can it bear emotion to be able to pass on a capacity to love and grieve, to be glad or to anger?

No, my friend, it was not a WHAT, but a WHO.

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” Eccles. 3:11

 

 

WHAT IF THE WORDS I SPEAK WERE WRITTEN ON MY SKIN?

Words on hand

Why do I suddenly feel the need to cover up? And when I say “cover up” I mean head-to-toe cover up. I wouldn’t mind adding a second layer, and a cap, and a pair of tall boots.

Maybe that’s because there would be many words I wouldn’t want anyone to read.

Words that spew out in anger at people who least deserve it.
Words that I add for shock effect just to see the reaction and bring attention to myself
Or what about that one extra thought that crossed the line the minute it came out of my mouth,
but I said it anyway.

Not to try to make anyone feel worse, but the words we speak are just as obvious to God as if they were written on our skin.

And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by our words you shall be condemned.” (Matt. 12:36).

I’m going to have to give an account for every word I speak (or write for that matter). It says in this scripture that I’m going to be justified or condemned by my words, so it seems to be saying that God judges our salvation based solely on what we say. It seems to support a works mentality, a doctrine that says that our salvation is based on what we do or don’t do.

However, if you read over both the Old and the New Testament, you’ll see a consistent message that we are saved by grace through faith. (Eph. 2:8, John 3:16, 2 Corin. 5:21, Romans 3:28, Psalm 32:1-2). Therefore, we cannot be saved or condemned on the basis of our deeds or words; instead, they are evidence of salvation.

Words (and deeds) are not a means to an end, (salvation), but a manifestation of our spiritual condition, an accurate gauge of what’s in the heart. What’s more, no matter how hard we try, they will give us away:

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. (James 3:8-12)

When we are full of our angry, mean selves, it comes out, but this passage isn’t just talking about words spoken in passion. The Greek transliteration for the word “careless” is “Argos”, meaning “useless, barren, unproductive, inappropriate.” 1 It also refers simply to words that reflect the idleness and the pride of life.

Lord knows there’s plenty of that. It reminds me of a phrase my dad used to use when we were kids. He would say “Callam fodi”, which is literally translated from Arabic to mean “Empty words”. It was no surprise that we would hear that phrase almost any time the TV was on because of all of its useless, wasteful material. A question to ask ourselves: how much of it are we pumping into our hearts and minds on a daily basis?

Thank God that although our words are exposed to Him, He offers His righteousness as the best cover-up to those who believe in Him. Better than a cover-up. They are washed away.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

What were your conversations about today? Can you say that they were life-giving and encouraging or useless and wasteful, even angry?

Why do you suppose it’s so hard to tame the tongue?

1)      The McArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 8 – 15, P. 319

 

ANNOUNCEMENT AND FREE GIVEAWAY: FEATURING AUTHOR MARILYNN DAWSON

Hello Friends,

Just wanted to tell you the exciting news that “Ministry in Words” is taking part in a virtual book tour for Author Marilynn Dawson’s next book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus”! This book is due to launch in September, but she’s giving away a one-month sample before it’s even released! We are one of twelve stops on this tour, and we don’t want you to miss it! There will even be an opportunity to sign up for Marilynn’s monthly newsletter, and get a free gift in the process.

Today we feature an excerpt from the back cover of her book:

Do you struggle with the idea of a daily prayer life? Have you ever found yourself asking along with the disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray”? Then this book is for you. Let us join the disciples as we sit at Jesus’ feet and join Him in prayer. . . for an entire year.

It is important to realize that The Lord’s Prayer is not a recipe for answered prayer. Rather, it is a recipe for increased relationship with the One Who desires to answer our prayers. There is a very specific order in which Christ says we should approach God the Father. This order, if followed, brings the child of God into a place of gratitude, humility, and reverence. It seeks to bring the heart of the prayerful one into alignment with what beats God’s heart and it moves the Christian to put feet to their prayer life.

It is my desire as you go through the coming year with me, that you’ll gain a practical, living understanding and personal experiencial insight into the realm of prayer that will lift you above the materialistic tendencies; above the selfish motives; above the need for instant gratification and attention, and into the realm of God’s heart not just for you, but for those around you; not just for your own issues and needs, but those around you, and lastly, that you will experience the richness of just “being” in His presence.

Click this link here to get your tenth single day prayer guide outline.

http://songdove.fa-ct.com/stuff/YPWJ/YPWJ-day161.pdf

Be sure to stop by Marilynn’s blog (http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusing) on July 14th for your next single day prayer guide free download. Be sure to sign up for her monthly newsletter for yet another free gift! Don’t you just love FREE?

Here’s the next tops on the tour:

Week Five – Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn’s blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 14th – Tour stop: July 16th – Jansina Grossman – http://thilly-little-nothings.blogspot.com/

Week Five – Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn’s blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 17th – Tour stop: July 19th – Madeline Duffy – http://www.shaneflynn.com/blog/marilynn-dawson-author

Author Bio

3x4 3 (2)Marilynn Dawson is the author of “Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey”, “Mom’s Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate”, “Practical Thoughts on Becoming an Author”, and “Dressed for Eternity”, her latest book released through Songdove Books, her own Imprint.

Marilynn grew up in a solid Christian home, coming to Christ at the age of 7. She has been actively involved in Church life since age 10, including activities such as joining her Mom and sister in singing special numbers, choir, teaching Sunday School, leading Sunday School open session, planning Sunday School lessons, and more. Marilynn attended both public and private schools growing up. She attended North Island Community College on Vancouver Island and Trend College in Kelowna, obtaining certificates in receptionist work and Comptia A+ computer repair.

Throughout her life, Marilynn has written poetry and published in the American Poetry Anthology(two issues). She has written numerous unpublished articles on end-time eschatology, written unpublished short stories, word studies and more.

Marilynn lives with her two grown children, cat and gerbils, in Kelowna BC Canada. Her day job is fixing computers and engaging in multimedia for her church. In the evenings and on weekends she’s a soundtech doing various events through the year from funerals to workshops to concerts and weddings. Marilynn has sung alto or tenor in various choirs and praise teams over the years.

Marilynn can be contacted via her author page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Marilynn.Dawson.Author or by email: author@fa-ct.com

AMERICA AND CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: THE APPROACHING STORM

Religious freedom

Dear Friends,

In the midst of all the fireworks of last Friday night’s Fourth of July celebration, I sat wondering if anyone else saw the impending clouds in the distance. They were no longer just an outline on the horizon, but were now deep and ominous, almost filling the sky.

I closed my eyes for a moment. I had to get away from the crowd for just a minute to block out the deafening booms and bangs and the oohs and ahhs. “Wait a minute…was that thunder?” I asked myself. No, what I sensed buried underneath the noise was a low rumble, like a grumpy, shifting giant, groaning deep within his diaphragm from hunger upon awakening. It was barely discernable at first, but obvious to me once I recognized the sound. I turned away with my head down, passing through a sea of partyers.

The approaching storm I was thinking of had nothing to do with the weather. It had everything to do with the slow and steady approach of threat to the very independence we celebrate. Bewildered, I have had to ask myself and others this question: Are we so comfortable in this freedom we enjoy that we don’t see what life would be like without it? Are we so mesmerized by the proverbial starburst and colors of our liberty that we don’t see, (or don’t want to see) the darkness that makes it so precious by contrast?

As Christians in America, I am beginning to feel the social tension like a wrench on an oxygen tank as it stifles religious freedom by degrees with every turn. However, we have not yet breathed in the smoke of arson setting fire to our churches as they have in Egypt, nor have we choked on the dust of rubble and ruins as those destroyed in China.

We haven’t yet had to clutch the tiny hand of a child born in prison as we wait to see if we would live or die, simply for the crime of professing Christ, nor have we had to surrender our children as we hear their last cries at the hands of Boko Haram militants. As the writer of Hebrews may say, we have “not yet wrestled to the point of bloodshed”. (Hebrews 12:4)

But why am I so “discouraging” or “negative”, you may ask? The answer is simple. I’m not saying all of this to be a downer. I’m simply pointing to Biblical prophecy. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul prophesied that these things will occur; that the church will come under attack and individual Christians will be persecuted. After all, Jesus Himself said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated Me first” (John 15:18). This was not if, but when:

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.(2 Timothy 3:12-13)

Get this one:

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”(Matt. 24:9)

Notice the “all the nations”?

It’s sad to say, but as great as this country is, America will be no exception.

But that doesn’t mean we should be flustered and taken off guard. No doubt we will be frustrated and discouraged, but this is all the more reason to temper those reactions with God’s word, all the more reason to get on our knees and seek His comfort and strength.

First, let’s examine our own hearts. Let’s take an honest look at how our own sin, (not anyone else’s), has done a fine job of separating us from God all on our own. It’s from a humble heart that God empowers His own to be a light in the world, ready to have an answer for our hope and faith.

Second, let’s remain sober-minded and focused upon our roles as believers in this world. Let’s wake up while we still have the opportunity! Let’s not be blind to the storm clouds coming or deaf to the rumblings of injustice. Let’s hold fast to sound doctrine, (for there will be many false teachers, Matthew 24:24), and re-dedicate ourselves to sharing the gospel as the kingdom calendar winds down.

Third, even though we understand prophecy, we can, and must make our voices heard for the simple preservation of society. Even in the recent Hobby Lobby case, it is important to point out that it was won by one small vote. Therefore, I implore all of you to go and vote for congressmen and senators that reflect your values, to make your thoughts and opinions known to our leaders. God has given us channels to defend these principles. On a practical level, I found some very helpful links and ways to get involved to make a difference in the world while we are here:

How to contact your Congressman

How to get involved in your local politics

Having said that, I believe that laws and social reform fall short in one major way, and that is that they do not have to power to change the heart. They are a crucial framework by which to live, but they cannot, and do not transform anyone from the inside out. They cannot give me a desire to obey and live a godly life. As a Christian, I believe only the gospel can do that. Speak up we shall, but our greatest voice is to share the gospel. This perspective is that where godliness is seen, there is an influence on the individual, and the whole.

Last and most importantly, let’s remember that God is sovereign over all governments, and that all forms of wickedness and corruption will be cut down and God’s name will be glorified. Even in these times, we have the promise of comfort and peace in the end.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

What are your thoughts and convictions in regards to religious freedom and what is going on in this country and the world?

 

 

WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU?

I was watching an online clip not too long ago that featured a woman in her 20’s that has literally not grown since she was 5 years old. She looks and acts like a toddler, leaving doctors mystified about her condition. More than once the narrator used the term “frozen in time” to describe the lack of normal aging and maturing .*

We tend to see only the physical, but we are both physical and spiritual. In much the same way as someone born with a physical abnormality, it is possible to never get out of our spiritual infancy. This is shown in the Apostle Paul’s writing in1 Corinthians 3:1-3:

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.”

Let me break down this scripture:

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ”

Paul was talking to the Corinthian church, pointing out that although they were Christians, they showed no signs of spiritual growth. He “could not speak to [them] as to spiritual men, that is, they were acting more like “men of flesh”, a term used to describe someone who does not know God, or knows little of God. They were “babes in Christ”.

“I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it.”

Baby bottleBabies drink milk, a substance that’s easy to take in and handle to a baby’s body; it’s contains the basics of nutrition. Using the illustration of a baby drinking milk, Paul draws a spiritual analogy. The “milk” he provided them was the basics of the gospel. Like many Christians today, the Corinthians seemed content to stay on milk. They don’t want their teachers to give sermons that had a lot of “meat” on them, that would get “too deep”, or “too specific”. The problem with this is that once you have heard the gospel and believe, then what? Do you just keep listening to the same evangelistic message? How do you learn the myriad of principles in God’s word? How do you apply it to your life and soul? Like today’s listeners, they may have claimed that teachings of any substance had “too much doctrine” or on an unspoken level, exposed their sins and godless lifestyle.baby

Living off of spiritual milk is like nodding my head at a sermon that skims the surface of the gospel, understanding the truth in concept alone. I’m content to being passive and spoon-fed, not just because it’s easy, but because I don’t have the spiritual muscle mass that would crave solid food because I haven’t flexed them. I haven’t burnt too many spiritual calories so I can’t get strong. My spiritual self is flabby and plump from inactivity.

Steak dinnerOn the other hand, what does it mean to crave solid spiritual food? When I think of solid food, I think of a substantial, wholesome meal, not sucrose filled, junk food –like messages we often hear today. These messages taste good at first – they offer nothing but prosperity and ego-boosting self-motivation, but have little to do with the gospel (they are neither “milk” nor “meat” but false, misleading teaching!). Solid spiritual food is grounded in the word of God, given through careful study of the text. It exposes sin and challenges the believer to godly living, establishing him in the fundamentals of the attributes of God, man, sin, salvation, judgment, and eternity. It gives the basis for each. It may not always feel good going down, but it is necessary for the healthy believer.

Indeed even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.”

Even then, we can’t leave our growth (or lack of growth) on the shoulders of our teachers and pastors. If we are going to grow beyond the baby bottle, we must take the responsibility to take in God’s instructions on a daily basis. We have to exercise our spiritual muscles by reading the Bible ourselves. Together with the Holy Spirit, this will begin to create the appetite for solid food. Then we can’t be called “fleshly”, as those who have no desire to grow.

Believer, where do you think you are in your growth chart today? Are you a new believer starting out on “milk”? Are you weaning yourself by learning more and surrounding yourself with good teaching? Are you stuck on “milk” and should be eating “meat”? Do you remember a time when you were…or are you enjoying a full course meal on God’s word?

*http://singularityhub.com/2010/05/17/what-secrets-are-in-the-dna-of-a-17-year-old-girl-with-the-body-of-a-baby-video/