Hosea 13,14; Psalms 100,101,102; Hebrews 5
I've added an extra section after my daily devotions. I call it "Personally Speaking" (or "PS" for short) where I share my personal thoughts on what's happening in the world and the Church.
“But solid food is for the mature who by practice (constant use) have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” …” (Hebrews 5:14)
I recall in Genesis 3 that Eve capitulated to the serpent and took of the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil.” Here in Hebrews, we find it mentioned again. When Eve took of the tree, her discernment between what was good and what was evil become muted, and her inability to steward this kind of power rendered her inept and polarized. Her discernment between moral and immoral became clouded. That is now what is defined as “secularism,” a way of living that is “in-between.” Now, since Genesis 3, mankind has struggled with navigating a secular mindset, one that is neither moral nor immoral. It is amoral.
However, Paul gives us the antidote. The strength and power to discern and choose are gained by being trained in God’s Word! He chastises the Christians in v.12. He laments that with all their learning, they should be leaders and teachers, but due to their slowness in follow-through, they needed someone to teach them the “elementary truths of God’s Word all over again.” That primary level of learning is what he called “the milk of the Word.” Solid food, on the other hand, came by, not only learning but by practicing, obeying, following through, actuating God’s Word into their daily lives. One without the other would actually weaken rather than strengthen. They must be taken in tandem!
The distance between God’s purposes for our lives and how we currently live is too far apart, and more often than not, the Church has settled for that distance. The strength and power of the Church, therefore, is minimized if we settle for the status quo.
The writer of Hebrews defines two classes of Christians. One is still on “milk” (for the immature), but the other not only eats but digests and uses “meat” (or solid food). These are the ones that are mature.
Come to think about it, the transformation from the meat we ingest into the muscle we possess does not happen without exercise. Without actuation, the constant eating of meat will make us obese and unhealthy. But with exercise and going to the gym, we become fit and solid. In other words, we must add to the food we eat - exercise, action and practice, work-out, and application. This is what turns solid food into solid muscle.
Here’s an interesting side note: I notice that with increasing age, the muscles begin to atrophy if they are not exercised, and the most common consequence of atrophy (the weakening and shrinking of muscle due to inactivity) is seen when an elderly person falls. That person will far more apt to be injured or even debilitated. However, for the stronger and nimbler, that same fall would be easily overcome and quickly dismissed. It might be a bit embarrassing, but it would never pose a threat.
When a Christian has knowledge but does not have application, any stumble, or trip, any attack or criticism can cause greater injury and harm than it should have.
The lesson: Into my daily life, I must put forth more actuation rather than just more education. One without the other can cause me to be susceptible and vulnerable to what I should have otherwise, simply dismissed. Today I will write down and PRACTICE what God has been teaching me about being wiser and more cognizant of the season I am in. I must develop a greater context, and I must approach problems with a new perspective. I will plan better and actuate that plan for the Bible tells me to redeem the time!
“Make the most of your time for the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).
Father, thank You for encouraging me … and even provoking me to better myself. I cannot settle for the status quo. Please help me to redeem the time and to be more aware of the season I am in. I pray again for the anointing of the Sons of Issachar who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (1 Chron. 12:32)
The more I see in the media, the more I am motivated to write and give a 32,000-foot picture so we will not be misled or become gullible. Too many Christians are falling prey to the popular myths that are being proffered.
First of all, we have to recognize that most of our world leaders in government are driven by a secular mindset. They are not necessarily moral or immoral. They are amoral, and they will be motivated by tactics that win favor and votes. We as Christians cannot be befuddled when they do not play fair. We can’t wring our hands and cry “foul,” thinking that this reaction will change them for the better. Many are influenced by the “prince and power of the air,” and though the world’s initiatives are wrapped in slogans of justice and tied with “moral ribbons,” the inside contents can be polar opposites from what was presented on the outside.
So, how then shall we live? We as the Church must remain the salt of the world and we cannot lose our savor! In other words, we must:
- Be confident in who we are and never be ashamed of the Gospel!
- Be sold out to Jesus Christ every moment of every day. Let’s redouble our efforts to advance the Kingdom.
- Believe in the power of the Gospel to save the lost.
- Not be so quick to accept data we receive as fact. There’s much more going on than meets the eye. (click here for how the parameters of COVID changed in one county that increased counts dramatically).
- Individually, we must be like Daniel (click here to view the most recent message about Daniel) who knew what was going on but was bold to remain faithful to God. Don’t march to the most popular trend. Stick with the Bible and “study to prove yourselves workmen who need not be ashamed, accurately diving the Word of Truth!” (2 Tm. 2:15)Be wise …not ignorant nor gullible! Unlike those who destroy historical facts that “offend” them, we must know the facts and remember history so we will not repeat it.
Well, until tomorrow, God bless you. I sure love each of you,
and I am so thankful that you are a person of the Word of God.
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