Happenings around Antioch

No Lactose Intolerance Here!

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” How do we put off habits of sin and put on love for God and one another? By the power God gives us through the nourishment of his word, which is pure spiritual milk. And great news, there is no such thing as lactose intolerance when it comes to the milk of God’s word. We are to crave it to the point of a healthy addiction. Think of a newborn baby and his or her desire for milk. If that baby is healthy there is no need to coax it to drink. It cannot get enough. Any delay at feeding time when your baby is hungry will get a swift and loud reaction! For a growing infant, milk is not an optional extra. It is the sweet and pure means by which that baby grows healthy and strong. The word of God is that sweet and pure means by which you and I grow. And unlike the flowers and the grass and our own flesh, the word of God abides forever. Our flesh fades. I track the progress of that fade every morning when I look in the mirror. Eventually our flesh also fails. But the word of the Lord remains forever. And there is no substitute for it if we are to be healthy. No novel, no newsfeed, no social media, no entertainment can replace the word, and yet it often sits on our bedside stand while we feast on that which cannot satisfy.

What is the word of God and what does it do? It is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) His word pierces through every layer of who we are. God said his word, “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) His word never fails.  The Psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” His word shows us which way to go. (Psalm 119:105) God said to Jeremiah, “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29) Unlike the false prophets, God’s word will burn the straw of falsehood and break the hardest sinner’s heart.  And I love the parable Jesus spoke in Mark 4 where he said “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain…” (Mark 4:26-28) The word of God produces life. All by itself. We can share the seed of God’s word with someone and trust that God will water and bring life through that seed as he wills. We cannot make it happen. We can just sleep, rest, knowing that God is God. And as we read the word, or hear the word preached, that powerful seed is sown in our own hearts. And we rest, and sleep, and God changes us by his word. We don’t know how. But that’s kingdom work!

So, go ahead and drink it up. Taste and see that the Lord is good.