THEME: “Understanding How to Grow as a Disciple of Jesus Christ”
(1 Pet 2:2-3 KJV) (2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Do you feel stunted in your growth as a true believer and disciple of Jesus Christ? Have you been attending church your entire life but you feel you still have not grown and you are wondering why and what you missed? Have you listened to sermons, attended bible studies, faithfully attended Sunday School every week, read numerous religious books, attended conferences, attended healing and deliverance services and did everything you were told spiritually, yet you still feel that something is missing and that you have not really grown? Are you simply sick of feeling that you are not growing and you are almost tired of looking for answers?
The question of what is the primary thing I must do to grow spiritually has plagued many who are seeking a deeper fellowship with Jesus.
God provides a simple and comprehensive answer in his word; the sincere milk of the Word is a must if one is to grow (1 Peter 2:2). There is no substitute for the reading of the Word of God on an individual basis. It is amazing that many churches and Christian organizations do not encourage members to read the word of God for themselves.
However, if we are to grow, we need to desire to take in the sincere milk of the word. There is no other secret or replacement method for true spiritual growth in God than to acquire the knowledge of Jesus through the reading of the word for oneself. If we love Jesus, then we will want to know more about him. When we read the Word we come to really know Jesus because Jesus is the Word made flesh.
(John 1:1 & 14 KJV) (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(Heb 10:7 KJV) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
WHAT IS SINCERE MILK
But exactly what does that it mean in layman’s terms to “desire the sincere milk of the Word? What is the sincere milk of the Word?
I never focused or spent much time on really trying to understand or define what the sincere milk of the Word is until this past month when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and shared with me these insights that I will share with you here.
The Holy Spirit prompted me to think about a newborn baby and the way God engineered for it to grow. God placed within the woman a source that generates milk that is pure and originates within her for the purpose of providing her newborn baby the nourishment that it needs to grow to become strong and mature.
Sincere or pure milk could therefore be defined as that which comes directly from the source and provides nourishment that produces growth.
A mother’s milk is untouched by the world and can only corrupted by what the mother takes into her body. Not only does the mother’s milk provide nourishment, it also provides the baby with natural antibodies that helps to protect it from germs and illnesses (see government fact sheet on breast feeding).
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit had me to consider man’s alternative to the sincere milk of the woman to gain additional insights. Today, in our modern world, man has created formula to replace the mother’s milk. With names like Enfamil and Similac, formula provides an alternative nourishment source to the mother’s milk. Formula serves as a quick and convenient replacement that relieves the mother from the requirement to be constantly available to nurse their children. These replacements are formulated by some man in some laboratory and filled with what some man thinks is best for the nourishment of a baby. The shortcomings of formula is that man lacks the ability to exactly replicate the mother’s nutritional milk and more importantly formula lacks the natural antibodies that a mother’s body provides to protect the baby from germs and illnesses.
Now, let’s look at the spiritual comparison. Based on this analogy of a mother and her baby, the sincere milk can be defined as the word of God that comes directly from the source who is God to the individual who is a true believer and disciple of Jesus Christ. Since God is pure and undefiled, the word that originates directly from God can be considered pure and undefiled when it is not affected by outside sources. Stated another way, God’s Word that comes directly from the pages of the bible to the individual readers without any external influence can be defined as the sincere milk of the Word.
Peter was inspired by the Holy Ghost to outline the process for growing to maturity (2 Peter 1:5-12) and he further encouraged believers to pursue sincere milk of the Word to serve as their source of growth and as a defense against false teachers.
The Holy Ghost revealed to Peter that there would be many false prophets in the last days and he encouraged the pursuit of the sincere milk of the Word as a means of immunizing the true believers from false teachers, prophets, doctrines and spirits that would seek to overthrow the faith of believers and caused them to not grow (2 Peter 2:1-22).
HOW DO I PUT THIS INTO PRACTICE?
How do we put this into practice? The only way to get the sincere milk of the word is to read the word of God (the bible) for yourself. God provided his word through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost through holy men who recorded exactly what God had spoken so that followers and believers of God might read and acquire knowledge of Jesus, God’s commandments, God’s will, God’s plan and God’s purpose that he has for everyone and everything in the world.
(2 Pet 1:19-21 KJV) (19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (see also verses 15-18).
We are encouraged by the Word of God that as true believers and disciples of Jesus Christ we should read the Word of God (the bible) for ourselves. Jesus taught us that man should not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God (St Matthew 4:4). We were taught to pray for the Father to give us this day our daily bread (St Matthew 6:11). We are encouraged to study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15). We are encouraged to meditate (Psalms 1). We are encouraged to read the word of God for direction and guidance (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalms 119).
Secondly, somehow the direction in the Word of God that individuals should become readers of God’s word is not a point of emphasis in many churches. I know that it was never a major point of emphasis in most churches that I attended throughout my life.
Unfortunately, for many, in place of the sincere milk of the word, we have turned to the formula of the word, as a modern convenience. The formula of the word is when we receive God’s word through a man or organization who reads and studies on our behalf and provide us their interpretation of what they believe God is saying in his word. This method can provide benefit if the individuals we are following are truly sent by God and they follow the word verbatim to equip and train the church (Ephesians 4:11-16) or it can have devastating results if they are a false prophet who lead to destruction (2 Peter 3:14-18)(i.e., Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc.) or if the someone truly sent by God makes an innocent mistake or misread or misinterprets the Word.
Just as society has turned to formula as a modern convenience, far too many disciples of Jesus Christ are relying on the formula version of the word that is provided by man as their PRIMARY and sometimes ONLY source for nourishment. Rather than making the reading of God’s Word a priority in their individual lives, many choose to rely on some man, woman, or organization to teach and interpret the word of God rather than relying on the Holy Ghost as their teacher as we are instructed. God purposely sent the Holy Ghost to be a teacher (St John 14:26). The Holy Ghost will recall all things to your remembrance and ensure that you are not be misled (1 John 2:26-27). However, we need to give the Holy Ghost something to work with. The Holy Ghost cannot help you remember something that you have never made a member of your body through reading, studying, and meditating.
PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY
The GREAT NEWS is that God has promised to teach you if you will turn to him!!! This next statement is being capitalized because it will set you free:
- READING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
- STUDYING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
- MEDITATING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
- UNDERSTANDING IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY….IT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!!
I write this because many people say they do not read the word of God because they do not understand it. Please make a decision today to erase that excuse from you mind. STOP TAKING ON RESPONSIBILITIES THAT ARE NOT YOURS!! God does not want you to worry about understanding because he will provide you understanding when you are obedient to his word. He wants every believer to be obedient and read his word so they want be destroyed (Hosea 4:6).
Once you start reading, you will be amazed at how the Holy Spirit will begin speaking to your heart and mind to instruct you (St John 10:1-5). God wants you to know the truth. He is not trying to hide it from you or make it difficult. He wants you to know all about him. All you have to do is open the book and read.
The Holy Ghost led me to challenge everyone who is of age in Alpha and Omega to read from the book of ST JOHN through the New Testament to the book of JUDE for the year of 2013. It is not a mandatory requirement that I or anyone else will be tracking. It was simply an exhortation to which every individual has the opportunity, if they choose, to willingly take on the challenge to be diligent in reading through the bible. You are welcomed to take on the challenge with us for the year if you want to give it a try.
BIBLEPLACE.COM ONLINE BOOKS TO ASSIST YOU
We’ve provided links here to our online books to assist you with learning how to read and with information about God’s plan for your salvation.
– Learn how to read the word (http://www.bibleplace.com/growth.htm)
– Learn about Salvation in Jesus Christ (http://www.bibleplace.com/save.htm)
Here are some scriptures for your consideration:
(1 John 2:26-27 KJV) (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
(John 14:26 KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
(John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
(Hosea 4:6 KJV) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
(Rom 12:1-2 KJV) (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Heb 8:10-11 KJV) (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
I am humbled that God blessed me to understand from an early age that I needed to read God’s Word and I have been doing so my entire life having read the bible through some 5 to 10 times or more. I do weep for those who are missing out on this great truth and I pray that my sharing of the insights the Holy Ghost has given me on this subject will help many to find and experience this great gift of growth one can only experience through the daily reading of God’s Word.
Love in Jesus Christ,
Apostle Kelvin Franklin
Pastor, Alpha and Omega Christian Worship Center