When was the last time you remember being excited about Sabbath, Going to Church, or just spending time reading about your Bible?
Do you remember when you first found that special someone to “Date”? Do you remember how you missed being with then 5 minutes after you parted? When was the last time you really felt that way about God and His business?
I was talking with a friend as we traveled 6 hours to a Church Association last week, and I got excited as we compared stories of how The Holy Spirit had drawn the two of us in similar ways to a closer relationship and walk. I was especially refreshed when this friend told me of looking forward to the beginning of the Sabbath, with an excitement and expectation of meeting with God in quiet time.
I am blessed that a most of my kids regularly attend Church, but as an outsider watching it seems too often they go, not because they are excited to go, but because they know they are supposed to go. Now, I am thankful that they go on a regular basis, but keeping the Sabbath is so much more.
The Scriptures tell us that the Sabbath is for us to rest. When we begin the Sabbath at sun-down, we seem to avoid some of the time hassles and flurries that make the morning preparation for Church so overwhelming.
But back to the title of this devotion, Are you Hungry? If your friends and family were to have to go to court to testify about you, would there be enough evidence (witness) to prove you Love God? Are you as excited about God as other things in your life? Does it show?
I want to bring you to a portion of Scripture that is familiar to all of us, and certainly one of my very favorite portions of Scripture; but it seems like the only one fitting for a time like this, and that is 1 Peter chapter 2, verses 1 through 3.
This passage I think sets the tone, establishes the foundation that is essential to make a study Bible, valuable in your life and mine. Let me read these three verses. 1 Peter 2, 1 to 3. “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
The key phrase here is “to desire the pure milk of the word.” Genuine spirituality, genuine Godliness, is always marked by a love for and a delight in God’s truth. Jesus said, “He who is of God hears God’s word,” and Jesus said, “He who is a true believer,” in the same chapter, John 8, “keeps God’s word.” Paul expressed this love for God’s word in the believer’s heart when he said, in Romans 7, in verse 22, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” And Job said, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” The Psalmist said in the very first Psalm that the Godly man will be blessed because his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” And as we read earlier David, in Psalm 19, said, “The word of God is more desirable than gold, and much fine gold, sweeter than honey, and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Again, in Psalm 40, in verse 8, the Psalmist expresses the cry of the Godly, “I delight to do Thy will, oh God, Thy law is within my heart.”
Peter chooses a simple analogy, a simple analogy of a baby. A baby craves milk, and they crave it in a rather serious way, as you well know. And it’s all they crave. And as the baby craves the milk, we are to crave passionately the word.
This is where it all begins. And, if there’s anything that I wanna say to you, it’s to ask you the question, “Do you have that craving? Do you have a real desire for the word?” I meet people very often who say to me, “We’re so frustrated, we live in a certain place, and we cannot find any place where the word of God is taught. We can’t find anywhere where we can be fed.” I love to hear that from people, because I understand the craving is in their hearts. I’m sorry about the circumstance, but I’m grateful for the craving, because it’s evidence of the work of God in their life. Where Bible study is not a duty, where Bible study is not a chore, it’s not some kind of legalistic thing that you do out of fear or intimidation, it’s not because it’s merely an assignment, but where it flows out of this longing or craving in the heart.
One thing is true about a baby. You don’t have to work real hard on a baby to get them to feed. Generally speaking, they will do that. That is the longing and the desire and the craving that God has built into them. It’s a very natural and a very normal thing. That baby cries out to be fed. In fact, the sad reality is that as believers, so many times we have to be coddled and motivated and exhorted to do what ought to come most naturally as the flow of our sense of need toward the source for that need: the word of God.
Now, that’s the basic exhortation here – desire the pure milk of the word with the same singularity and the same compulsion that a baby desires milk.