1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Yesterday I was invited to speak to a group of Red Hat Ladies. It was a lot of fun. I was asked to speak about my larger mosaics but I wanted it to be more than a how to demonstration. So I talked about the power of an idea. I shared how the lovely restaurant we were sitting in someones dream. Big things like Disney Land started with a little idea that someone acted upon even thought it seemed impossible or crazy at the time they started out. Anyway it went very well... then I got home and realized my black shirt that I had under my sweater was inside out. Which would have been fine except that I got hot and took off my sweater. Hopefully they are not telling all their friends, "she speaks well but seems to have trouble dressing herself." I'm hoping no one even noticed - probably helped to keep me humble. Maybe I should wear my shirts inside out all the time for that purpose. It was a delightful group of ladies and I felt very comfortable as an inspirational speaker. Its one of those small beginnings kind of things - its really the first time other than my church, where I speak almost weekly, that I 've been invited to speak. So we will see if the Lord opens up other opportunities - I'm game.
I made coffee this morning and noticed that we are almost out of milk again. I have two big teen age boys and we go thorough milk at a rapid rate. Our verse today is about pure spiritual milk. One of the signs that someone has really been born again is that they are hungry. They crave pure spiritual milk much like a baby. Mother's milk has in it all the nutrients that an infant needs to be able to be healthy, thrive and grow. Eventually we start to eat solid foods. Our nutrients come from a variety of sources from the vegetables, grains, meats and other dairy products that we eat. The thing is it is easy to fill up on things that have very little if any nutritional value. Our stores are full of things that fill us up and make us fat. In our society we are often far removed from the basic food building blocks. Where does milk come from - the grocery store in a big jug. How many children actually experience cows on a regular basis anymore. They might go on a field trip to a farm and learn about where milk comes from at some point but it is not a familiar thing to most children.
I think it is interesting that when Israel was in route to the promised land they were told it would be a land flowing with milk and honey. What do those two things have in common? Why would that be a blessing in the land they were going to possess? Milk and honey are both renewable resources. You don't have to kill the cow or the goat. Bee's make honey as part of an on going life process of pollinating the local plant life. A land rich in milk and honey is a healthy land where there is healthy plant life and babies are being born and the cows and bees are making milk and honey as a bi product of a healthy environment. We should probably break in to the chorus from the Lion King about the Circle of Life right about now. A healthy land has growth and new babies. I'm convinced that healthy churches should have those things as well. Our lives if they are healthy should show signs of growth and while we may not be giving birth to physical babies we should be giving birth to creative ideas that will bless, encourage, and help others.
Through the years I have had many people tell me they had a vision or a dream of me being pregnant and some even go on to tell me that I was giving birth in the church. For much of my adult life I had no children. I am heading swiftly towards age 52 and have only in my life given birth to two actual babies and they came along pretty late in my life. Those visions or words from people used to perplex me and I wondered what the heck was that about particularly for the 15 years of marriage where I was childless. Its taken me a long while to figure it all out - but what I seem to do a lot of is give birth to new ideas or ministries in the church. We are called to be fruitful but that comes from abiding in the vine. You have to be plugged in to the source. That source is Jesus. If you want to be fruitful you need to be spending regular time with Him. That quiet time at his feet is where fruitfulness starts and continues.
Healthy babies are hungry babies. They eat every couple of hours and new moms are often exhausted by hungry babies that need fed during the night. Healthy new spiritual babies should be hungry for the word and God's presences. Most of you reading are not spiritual babies and should really be eating more than milk. For some of you its time you learn to pick up the silverware and learn to feed yourself. You are waiting for your pastor or bible study leader to feed you, when you need to be spending time in the word and learning how to rightly divide it and apply its truth to your life. Some of you are filling up on junk food and getting so fat you can hardly move, you want to sit in church and be entertained by everyone else. Its time you get in the game. God does not intend for you to be a spiritual couch potato. When children do not develop normally and never learn to feed themselves we call them handicapped, dysfunctional or retarded. My friend that should not be you - if you have been a believer for more than a year you should be able to begin to feed yourself. In fact eventually you should get to a point where you are helping prepare and serve the food. Some of you are simply being lazy expecting others to feed you or are making poor choices about your spiritual diet. You would rather fill up on internet fluff about cats, and tv shows than spend time digging into the Word of God. Some of you have spent a lot of time in the word and even at the Lord's feet and it is time for you to get out there and use your gifts to make a kingdom difference of some sort. The harvest is ripe and the workers are few... how is that even possible, except that we are being lazy and selfish. Some of you need to pay attention and hear the Lord saying "who can we send, who will go for us?" You need to get off the mountain top and go find a way to help with the work of the kingdom. You should be responding "Here I am Lord, send me!"
I think I've probably given you enough to chew on for today. There should have been a morsel for everyone who came to this table today. No matter where you are in your spiritual development, you have tasted that the Lord is good and you should hunger for more of Him. Better yet pick up a plate and help serve others.
Prayer: Lord help us to be a land flowing with milk and honey. Make our lives healthy and fruitful. Help us to learn how to rightly divide your word and to not only be able to feed our selves but to set a table and feed other healthy meals as well.