Meat vs. Milk
"And Jesus answering said unto them, 'Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?" Mark 12:24
I see this a lot. Among many Christians, the Scripture is not their light. It is not their source of information on how to live and the methods the Lord would have them utilize for this situation or that. Most Christians do not read their Bibles other than to flip to a one sentence verse as directed by their pastor on Sunday morning. They certainly do not know the Scriptures... it is not hidden in their heart and they do not know where to find most of the books of the Bible. They rely on a man to tell them what the Bible says and how to apply it to their life. They rely on their feelings... if it's convenient and it feels good it must be the Lord's will for their life, right?It's a sad day.
"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39
I know all to well this phenomenon because it hasn't been that long ago that I was one of those Christians. I am so thankful the Lord delivered me from the 'milk' of knowing Him and His Word into the 'meat'. Once you begin to study the Scriptures for yourself, you become amazed at all the error you've been taught, all the incorrect thinking you've held, and all the incredible things of God that you never knew. I am still amazed... I hope I always continue to be amazed.
"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou has attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness." 1 Timothy 4:6-7
What I've also discovered is that the life the Lord has called us to lead is not without its "trials" and "persecutions". I put these words in quotes because they are nothing compared to what the martyrs have suffered - past and present. But, they are difficult nonetheless. Living a life fully surrendered to Christ will cause your friends and family members to pause, to question, and many times to criticize. It can cause division.
"For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, 'The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.' For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15: 3-4
Living a life fully surrendered to Christ involves sacrifice. It is not always the most 'convenient' option. It can be hard work. It does not always bring with it prosperity. But, God's Word is true and what He has called us to is good, and it brings peace, and it brings LIFE! What could be more important than that? What could be better than that? Nothing!
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways. I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy Word." Psalm 119: 9-16
I'm sad to see the state of churches today. I'm sad to see 'praise and worship' music that is so vague in its wording you can't tell if the words are written to the Lord ... or to someone's prom date. I'm sad to see our churches filled with 7-11 songs (songs with the same 7 words repeated over and over 11 times)... Bible verses printed on screens so that no one has to bother bringing the Word of God with them to church. The worst of all are pastors that dumb down God's Word to simple catchy illustrations sprinkled with cute jokes. I could go on and on.
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:16-18
Of course, it's not about what you wear (to some extent), what you sing (to some extent), and what your traditions are (to some extent). But, it is about the Word of God. How can anyone know the will of God for their life, for their family and for their children if they do not know Him? If they do not know His Word? If they have not studied daily the Scriptures for themselves? Can't be done!
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:15-17
I pray that the Lord will always give me a burning desire to know Him and His Word. I pray that I will never try to make the gospel more 'fun' or more 'relevant' in order to witness to the lost. As Amy Carmichael said, “The gospel needs no frills.” I pray that Christians will be drawn to Him and Him alone without gimmicks, potluck dinners, and/or programs involved.
May we all love the Lord and seek to know Him through His Word alone. May we all be as the Bereans!
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11