Summary: Using the idea of desire or crave milk to grow in Christ, then illustrating the idea with Demas and John Mark as one who did not grow and one who did grow in Christ and the results of that
The Apostle Peter talked about milk and its value to us in our spiritual growth. Please turn with me to I Peter 2:1, 2 READ.
I am so excited for Mitch, Taylor and Tyler this morning. You have the opportunity to begin your commitment to Christ today. You have your whole life ahead of you and the chance to do it right to the glory of God. In the passage we are going to study today I hope to challenge you to grow in your walk with Christ and that you will commit to follow Jesus all the days of your life.
(slide 2 point 1)
I. Desire Spiritual Milk (slide 2 point 2)
A. What it means to desire the Word of God --- (slide 2 point 3) In I Peter 2:2 we have the word “desire”. It is one of those fascinating words that can also be translated “crave, long for and thirst”. Peter is urging the disciples of Jesus that he is writing to – to want the Word of God in the same way a hungry, thirsty baby wants a bottle of milk.
(slide 2 point 4)
When you desire, crave and long for the Word of God, then you will grow in your faith and walk with God. Just as a baby grows, we must be growing in our faith and walk with God. Maybe these additional translations of this phrase will help you grasp how importantly it is to be growing in Christ: (slide 3 open verses as referred to)
• NEB – so that you may thrive upon it to your soul’s health.
I like the way this is worded to talk about it referring to soul’s health.
• NLT - you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment!
What does a baby do when he or she wants a bottle of milk? They cry and they continue crying until they get it. God doesn’t want you to be a cry baby, but He does want you to crave His Word.
• NCV- As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation. We have emphasized we need to grow in our faith and walk with God and this verse calls it becoming mature.
We must do everything within our ability to grow and become mature in Christ. If that means changing friends who will serve Christ, then do it! If that means rearranging our time schedule to be more involved in Church, then do it! If that means getting involved in a ministry of the church, then do it! Growth doesn’t just happen, we have to plan and work for it.
(Slide 4 point 1)
B. No longer desire
When you no longer desire, crave and long for the Word of God, you quit growing and remain a baby in Christ. In I Corinthians 3:1 Paul called a “babe in Christ” a carnal Christian. A carnal Christian lives in the flesh and doesn’t desire the things of God. They are saved and born again, but they no longer love God as they should. They become lax in their church attendance; they drop out of Sunday School and refuse to take on a ministry in the church. Other things have become more important to them.
(slide 4 point 2) Why does this happen? I have seen it happen too often in my life. Someone gets saved and they are on fire for Jesus and over time they lose that enthusiasm and fade away.
Sometimes it happens because of persecution or failed God. Peter says in verse 1 that it might be because they have let some of these attitudes develop in their heart “malice, slander, deceit and envy”. If you see any trace of this in your heart today, then I beg you to confess it to God and get it out!
II. Illustration of Demas
I want to use Demas as an illustration of someone who began well and dropped out of service to God because they became a carnal Christian. (slide 5 point 1) Please turn with me to Philemon 24 READ.
(slide 5 point 2) Please turn to 2 Timothy 4:10 READ.
Demas is listed in two scriptures. I see a pattern in these verses. In Philemon Paul is excited about Demas and says he is a “fellow worker or laborer”. Then the heart breaking news in 2 Timothy that Demas has left. Some of the different translations of the word are: “deserted or forsaken”. You and I would call Demas a quitter!
Why? Why did Demas quit? We don’t have to wonder for Paul gives us the reason – he loved the present world. The NEB translates this phrase as “because his heart was set on this world” and the NLT says “because he loves the things of this life”. What exactly does this mean? As you know, being a Christian is hard sometimes. We encounter persecution when we try to live the Christian life. We can become discouraged and even disillusioned. Maybe Demas loved popularity more than he loved Jesus. Maybe he loved pleasure more than he loved Jesus. Maybe he loved prosperity more than he loved Jesus.