Milk for babes

For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God... So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. (I Peter 1:23; 2:1-3)

I have often said when we see the 'therefore' in scripture we need to ask God what it is 'there for'. The same is true when we see the 'so' - asking what condition or behavior is described that must change as a result of what has just been described. We have been given new life - there has been an exchange we are to embrace and live within. Our actions are to change because our attitude changed. When I speak of attitude, I refer to the orientation of our minds and hearts. They are focused differently - renewed by the Word of God and made alive by the Spirit of God within. SO... get rid of the old behavior and embrace the new.

Be done with it. Maybe this seems like a harsh statement because we can feel that old way of seeing things and doing these things hanging on. God's directive is clear - make a clean break from them. Don't return to them, don't allow them to pull you in again and don't crave them more than you desire the 'spiritual milk' that will nourish you in this new life. Crave God's Word - his presence, peace, and provision made available to you through the living, breathing Word of God. What helps us grow in Christ? Getting a wee taste of the goodness of his grace. As a newborn craves its mother's milk, we come to crave the infilling of our lives with all he declares good for us.

The mother draws the newborn to the breast, but the babe must suckle at the breast in order to be nourished. The milk doesn't magically just get into the baby's stomach! It works for it! Yes, it is provided, but it must work to receive it. Why do we think life would be much different for us as believers? We need the 'milk' of the Word, and we must put forth a bit of effort to get it into our lives. The good things we discover as we allow the Word of God to get into our lives will bring things like deliverance from bad habits, the ability to love others who have not been as kind to us as they should have been, and the strength to stand in the midst of hard circumstances when nothing makes sense.

We have tasted that God's grace is good. Now we must take in a steady supply of all he provides - not just grace. Sometimes the 'meal' we take in will bring conviction because what we have 'taken in' apart from Christ's provision left things that we no longer want to affect our attitude any longer. Just as a baby needs to be 'burped' after taking in the mother's milk, sometimes we need to 'get out' what isn't wholesome or 'holy' in our lives. We need to respond to the intake of his Word that brought that conviction and repent of our sin. Then we settle into his arms and just rest in the perfect peace of being right where we should be. Just sayin!

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