What do you Crave
If you have you bibles with you this morning please turn with me to 1 peter 2:1-3
Have you ever hear the words it’s time to grow up?
I am sure at some point we have all heard that phrase
Lot of times it is parents telling their kids that it is time to grow up and face the real world
If you recall the last few weeks we have been working or way through 1 Peter
In his letter Petter is addressing a group of believers inside of the surrounding churches who have been scattered because of persecution
The purpose of this letter is to give them hope in one since but in another since it is to give them some instructions on How to live their life to the fullest during this time frame.
Church God has designed us to thrive even in bad times, even in persecution
and this morning I think Pete is telling the readers of this letter that it is time to grow up.
He knows that if they are going to grow closer to God in this situation and thrive then they have to experience spiritual maturity
Please Stand with me as we read
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Church in order to grow up sometimes you have to give up certain things don’t you
I mean what would we tell a grown man if he was to walk in to a job interview wearing pajamas , carrying a spider man blanket and a pacifier in his mouth.
It would be hard to take him serious wouldn't it?
To tell the truth most of us would probably escort him right out of the door because we would seriously doubt his ability to handle the job
but lets say for a minute we took pity on the poor guy and even though we are not going to hire him our self
we sense his desire to obtain a job so we decide to give him some advice
What would we tell him
get rid of the pajamas and buy you some real clothes
ditch the blanket
loose the pacifier
and maybe buy a briefcase
Then maybe some one will take him serious
That is what Paul is trying to communicate with the believers here
Look again at verse 1
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
The believer is to put aside some things
We will get to those in a minute but first lets look closer at the idea of the phrase putting aside
The Greek word for laying aside here literaly means to put off one’s clothes and cleanse them self of anything that defiles themselves
Peter realizes that there are some things that defile the believer and make it hard for them to grow on their walk with the Lord
and in order to grow and thrive they must cleanse themselves of it
Peter list 5 things here
His words echo the words of paul in
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
As believers we are called To repent and turn away from those evil things
Do you realize how many of our problems would be resolved if we took that counsel seriously?
If we would only flee from sin, our lives would be so much more full and blessed.
Sin deprives us of God's best, and yet often we play games with sin.
We brush as close as we can without being burned.
But sin is never without consequence.
What we sow, we reap.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Peter begins with "malice" a general word for all wickedness.
it also means to have a ill-will
a desire to hurt someone with words or deeds
wishing that something bad would happen to someone
2. Next he lists "all deceit."
In other words do away with any form of deliberate dishonesty.
do away with the desire to gain some advantage or preserve some position by deceiving others.
It is referring to a person with a hidden agenda.
we all know the biggest and best deceiver in the world is Satan.
3. The list also includes hypocrisy. Hypocrisy (hup¨®kriseis) depicts play acting or acting a part.
one who pretends
one who puts on a show
someone who tries to be something they are not
A desire to hide what really is.
4. We also need to lay aside "envy." Envy (phth¨®nos) is "jealousy, resentful discontent." Envy is a desire for some privilege or benefit that belongs to another with resentment that another has it and you don't.
5. The list concludes with "and all slander."
It can be translated as "a defamation of character" or "slander of every kind." It is evil speaking (katalali¨¢), which is often disguised as a rumor or private information, though in reality it is backbiting lies.
Slander is the desire for revenge and self-enhancement, [often driven by the deeper desire to deflect attention from our own failings. The worse light we can put another in by slander, the less our own darkness shows.]
None of these works of the flesh have any place in those who are born again.
Rather, in obedience to the Word, believers are to make decisive breaks with the past.
Yet the break to rid ourselves [to which Peter is calling us] is not a one time event, but it is to be a life long process. [We need to "put aside" ANY behavior that hinders us from growing as a Christian.]
[The way that God liberates us from evil desires is to give us a vivid image of what Christ can do in our lives. The closer we come to Christ, the more He replaces our desires with His.]
How is that going to happen? Is there a way or instrument that God uses to enable us to move on from our past attitudes, habits and sins?
Long for the Word
Long for the Word
II. LONG FOR THE WORD, 2.
In place of these destructive attitudes we are charged in verse 2 to have a craving for the Word of Life. "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,"
The strong word translated "long for" [means to have an "intense desire for, to crave."
As we turn away from evil, we must take the second step of repentance; we must turn to God.
In fact, we must not only turn to God, but we must do so with resolution and aggressiveness
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Paul uses the same word on in Romans 1:11 when he writes, "I long to see you" and when he writes to young Timothy, I am "greatly desiring to see you" (2 Tim. 1:4).]
If you're a parent, you know how NEWBORN BABES crave milk.
Through the years God gave me four babies.
and each of them came with a built-in craving for milk.
In the middle of the night, they want milk. When you're trying to study, they want milk.
Every few hours they want milk. We didn't teach them to like it. We didn't have to beg them to take it. They just came with an inborn craving for milk.
Their desire is basic instinct and their behavior is instinctive.
They want milk from mom without having been taught to do so.
In the same sense, the Christian need to develop a hunger for food for the spirit.
We begin the Christian life by means of a spiritual birth. As we are born again "by the word of God" (1 Peter 1:23),
and we grow by the milk of that Word.
The brother of a friend of mine received Christ.
and when he did he had a strong desire to know God's Word.
In fact, the day he was born again, he stayed up all night reading the gospels.
I wonder, how long has it been since you or I have craved God's. Word like that?
While the Bible tell us we are to come to a point of a full-grown digesting of the meat of the Word
there's a sense in which we should never lose our babyhood craving for its genuine milk.
The ideal is a mature believer with an unsatisfied craving that never leaves.
In fact you should pray for an inner craving for the Word of truth to be sustained in you all the days of your life.
The child can only act instinctively; he cannot direct his appetite and he cannot determine the source of its satisfaction.
Christians, however, can determine whether they will or will not feed themselves on the "pure milk of the Word."
They can decide, therefore, whether they will feed themself on the food of the world or the food of the Word.
That's why we are to lay aside the slow-burning anger of malice, the trickery of guile, and the divisiveness of hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking.
The degree to which those attributes exist in our lives will be the degree to which our hunger for the Word will be diminished.
No matter how good the meal my wife, Lori, prepares for me, if I stop off at McDonald's on the way home and score a couple of Quarter Pounders with large fries--and super-size the whole deal--when I get home, I won't be as interested in what she's made.
When people stop reading or studying the Word, it's because they're eating the junk food of the world.
hat's why Peter says, "First lay aside the junk and then you will desire the milk of the Word."
A spiritually healthy Christian is a spiritually hungry Christian.
If you are not hungry, you are not healthy.
I know if I am not physically hungry, I am usually SICK!
[Paul also refers to the Word of God as nourishing milk in Corinthians 3:2. "I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it". As babies need physical milk, so spiritual babies need spiritual milk so that they may grow up to maturity and begin to need and enjoy the nourishment of solid spiritual food.]
Having been born again, and recognizing the eternal value of God's Word, we are to rid ourselves of malice and deceit, and crave God's Word as a newborn desires milk. Peter wanted his readers to be as eager for the nourishment of the Word as babies are for milk.
After believers cast out impure desires and motives (v. 1), they then need to feed on wholesome spiritual food that produces growth.
Why are we to crave the pure Word? T
"So that you may grow in respect to salvation,"
Notice we are told to long for this milk so we can grow in respect to salvation!
A little girl fell out of bed one night. When her mother asked what happened she responded, "I guess I went asleep too close to where I got in."
That's the problem of many Christians. How we need to be challenged to start growing as Christians again.
Peter declared that the purpose God has for every Christian's life is for us to grow
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) promises that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."
The Word teaches us what is truly important in life.
The Word shows us those things in our lives that must change.
The Word corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us how to live right side up.
The Word turns us from babies into mature Christians.
The Word is our spiritual food and without it we will die spiritually, but with it we will grow and become strong. Oh God gives us a passion for your Word again!]
God is concerned that we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ--that we no longer be spiritual babes or children tossed about with every wind of doctrine. Instead, that we may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head--Christ. And that we grow to become more and more like Him, measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13--16).
That is what Peter is addressing. He wants us to "grow up" spiritually. The verb which Peter uses for grow [is aux¨¢n¨ which] he also uses in his second letter when he concludes, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18).
Many Christians do not enjoy the full benefits of their salvation because they don't grow up spiritually.
They miss God's best for them.
In his book Don't Park Here, C. William Fisher tells about driving in his car with his 4-year-old son at his side. "Byron, what do you want to be when you grow up to be a man?" he asked. The youngster replied, "I don't want to grow up to be a man." Surprised, his father asked, "Why not?" Byron replied, "Because then I couldn't ride my tricycle!"
Fisher wrote, "As I drove on, I thought, 'I'm sure I enjoyed my tricycle when I was 4, but I'm also sure that I enjoy much more the power and performance of my Olds today. '"
Fisher then made this spiritual application: Many Christians cling to "their religious tricycles when they should be enjoying the surge of power and effectiveness of an Olds relationship."
We grow up as Christians by praying, studying God's Word, sharing the gospel, and obeying Christ. Let's not be satisfied to remain at the level we were when we first knew the Lord. Trikes are for tykes in the Christian life as well as in daily life.
How long have you been a Christian?
If you were to chart your spiritual growth, would it show steady progress?
What can you do today to grow more like Christ?
[Verse 3 is a quote from Psalm 34:8, which commands us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good."]
They had taken a sample, having experienced God's grace in their new birth, and had found that indeed the Lord is good.
They had tasted of the kindness [chr¨¥stos] of the Lord through His Word.
Those who don't taste and see that the Lord is good never acquire much of a craving for the Word of God.
If we stop feeding on the word we stop growing so get a taste for the savory kindness of God as is found in the Word of God.
Let me share an effective approach to those who are agnostic or opposed to Christ.
Simply encourage them to "taste" of the Word of God and what it tells them about Jesus Christ.
Before anyone rejects Jesus Christ, they should at least explore His teachings and take a little taste of Him.
Only then can you know whether He tastes good or bad.
Only then can you authentically decide to follow Him or reject Him.
When we taste of the things of the Lord, we find that they are good and satisfying. Tasting leads to the deep desiring and craving for the pure milk of God's Word. [Cedar, S. 136.]
As I consider this passage, I am deeply impressed with the supreme importance Peter places on the Word of God.
It is the Word of God which the Spirit of God employs to bring about our new birth.
It is also the Word which produces spiritual growth.
The Scriptures are supremely important to the believer.
The Bible calls itself food.
The value of food is not in the discussion it arouses but in the nourishment it imparts.
It is sad when Christians have no appetite for the Word
Sometime children have no appetite because they have been eating junk food.
May we lay aside the attitudes that hinder our appetite for the Word and spiritual growth.