Summary: A message designed to encourage people to read their Bible.
Craving Soul Food
INTRO: Eating healthy—health foods—craving junk food.
Let’s try an experiment: say, “I have a craving for broccoli and brussel sprouts.” NOPE. It just doesn’t work. Now try, “I have a craving for chocolate.” “I have a craving for barbeque.” Yes, that sounds right.
People feed on what they crave. They feed on what tastes good to them whether or not it is healthy for them. Immature people are less concerned about balanced diet and healthiness and more concerned about taste.
So these verses turn around these two concepts:
1. Only those who cut out junk food can have a healthy appetite for nourishing soul food.
2. Only those who want nourishing soul food will progress toward spiritual maturity.
Let’s spend the bulk of our time this morning looking at the second of these two concepts. Vs. 2 is our focus.
Crave spiritual food. The phrase is usually translated “the pure milk of the word.” We have all understood this to mean the Word of God. But before we get there, literally it should be translated “wordy milk.” This same word is used in Romans 12:2 to talk about worship, and it is usually translated “REASON”able --there it is “reasonable service.” It comes from a root word that contains the word LOGOS or word. It means word. It means thinking or reasoning.
One of the things Peter wants his readers to do is crave spiritual things that will help them grow in their understanding of what they believe. CRAVE BRAIN FOOD! Too many Christians are satisfied with fluff. They are satisfied with flamboyant. They are satisfied with junk food. Peter challenges them to feast on things that are healthy and have substance.
Something I was taught many years ago is a little phrase that says, “Sermonettes make Christianettes.” If you want food that feeds your souls, it is going to have to be food that makes you think. This is what Hebrews 5 means when it says “You people have been saved long enough. BY NOW, you should be chewing on solid food, but you have become dull of hearing and slow to understand…and all you want is baby food.”
But then, go back to the meaning we’ve been taught for many years: that Peter is saying we need to feast on God’s Word, the Bible. That is a legitimate translation based on the context: 1:23 says you’ve been born again through the Word of God; and 1:25 reminds us the Word of God endures forever—and this was the gospel message preached to you. So, 2:2 follows that up with NOW grow up through the Word of God. Jesus said this to Satan in the wilderness. Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Remember, Peter was writing to people who didn’t have the written Bible in front of them. It is very possible that these people were illiterate, too. But that isn’t our excuse. We’ve got the Bible. We’ve got Bible studies. We’ve got translations we can understand. We’ve got no excuse. This is our soul food.
You know, when I...when I emphasize the Word of God, and harass you about reading it every day and getting into Bible studies and digging deeper—it’s just because I care. I know what gives your Christian life protection and health and strength and intimacy with God. It's the Word of God. This isn't medicine. This isn't painful stuff. This is tasty and healthy and filling.
Jeremiah got it right. Jeremiah, preachers love this guy, was the greatest preacher of his time and everybody hated all his sermons. They did, they hated him. They finally threw him in a pit. Couldn't shut him up so just threw him in a deep mud hole and said, "Preach to the walls of the pit." Nobody heard him but he said this, "Thy words were found and I did eat them. And Your Word was in me, the joy and rejoicing of my heart."
Let me put it as simply as I can: the challenge to you this morning is that you need to examine your heart as to the level of your craving for the Word, because everything flows out of that, absolutely everything.
If you don’t, you are saying you are satisfied with where you are; you don’t need any more.
In the New Testament, this word is used for the desire a husband or wife has for their spouse; for the desire of a parent to see a rebellious child come back to the Lord; for the longings someone has for a deceased loved one, and for extreme hunger. All these point to a strong, consuming desire. That’s what we are supposed to have for spiritual things.