Summary: Picture an adult in diapers still drinking milk from a bottle – that’s not right! Are you in the same place spiritually that you were a year ago? 5 years ago? These things ought not to be! God wants us to grow up - spiritually speaking that is!
EAT UP, GROW UP, AND GIVE IT UP!
(Preached in the Chinese Church)
OPENING TEXT: “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.” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
The title of my message for today: “EAT UP, GROW UP, AND GIVE IT UP!”
ILLUSTRATION: Picture an adult in diapers still drinking milk from a bottle – that’s not right!
- are you in the same place spiritually that you were a year ago? 5 years ago? These things ought not to be! God wants us to grow spiritually!
1. EAT UP: Taste the goodness of the Lord!
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Ps. 34:8).
- The Lord ‘tastes’ good. Once you’ve tasted him, you’ll keep going back for more!
ILLUSTRATION: My wife Liza’s world famous dessert, “The Blueberry.” Cream cheese & graham cracker crust. Delicious! Once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to keep going back for more.
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
- We are commanded to rejoice – to delight – in the Lord!
- “Let them praise His name with the dance.” Psalm 149:3).
- David danced before the Lord with all his heart. We are commanded to love God with all our heart. There’s nothing wrong with involving our emotions in our experience of God!
2. GROW UP:
a. It’s time to GROW UP by drinking the pure milk of the Word.
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
- Desire / Crave - to have an intense desire for. To need urgently. To beg earnestly for
- if you HAVE tasted the Lord’s goodness - it is natural to have a desire for spiritual things
- the purpose of God’s Word is not to satisfy our curiousity or give us information
- God’s Word is given to us so that we may GROW – to transform our lives!
- Just as a mother’s milk helps a baby’s immune system defend against infection, God’s Word helps newborn Christians defend against the attacks of the enemy.
ILLUSTRATION: Our family in Tampa, Florida. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs. "I’m sorry," the waitress said. "I can’t bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken." At first I was dumbfounded. We were surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get it. (Leroy Eims).
(illustration taken from a sermon on sermon central dot com - unfortunately I can’t remember the source!)
- what would happen if the ‘machine’ of church shut down? How would you find nourishment?
- the problem is not a lack of spiritual food--but that many Christians haven’t grown enough to know how to get it for themselves.
b. It’s time to GROW UP and move on to solid food.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Cor. 3:1-3).
ILLUSTRATION: Little children do two things well – they make noise & messes! Our son Austin when he was 2-3 years old made lots of messes in our house with corn syrup on carpet, Rice Krispies on office floor, lots of drawings on the walls, etc. But now that he’s six, he’s grown up past that stage (thank the Lord!). It’s one thing for a baby or a toddler to do those things, but once a child grows up, we expect him to put away childish things.
c. It’s time to GROW UP and put away childish things.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Cor. 13:11).
- our problem is we don’t like change!
3. GIVE IT UP: Choose to lay aside all sinful activities
• Malice • desire to see something bad happen to someone else (heart attitude)
• Deceit • to deceive or trick others to get what we want