Friday, January 8, 2010

Milk indeed

My beloved DiDi had some thoughts on milk and meat, one of which was particularly lovely.

She pointed out that Jesus instructed us to feed both sheep and lambs, and that spiritually young questioners are like baby lambs who need to be fed tenderly.

As babies, we are cradled and given milk at the soft breast. There is nothing more gentle than the suckling of a baby. She called what we do in feeding God's lambs "the caring and gentle guiding to the breast".

Lovely, no?


Ike said...

(Part 1)

There is no word or truth of greater importance than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are full of many messages. The least among them is more valuable than the combined wealth of the world and more important than the greatest thoughts ever formed in the mind of man. If then, the very dust of Scripture is more precious than gold, how can we calculate the worth or importance of the Gospel?

Even within the Scripture itself, the Gospel message has no equal. The story of creation, though lined with splendor, bows before the message of the cross. The Law of Moses and the words of the prophets point away from themselves to this singular message of redemption. Even the Second Coming, though full of wonder, stands in the shadows of this one word. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one great and essential message, the acropolis of the Christian faith, and the foundation of the believer’s hope. There is nothing more important, nothing more useful, and nothing more necessary for the promotion of the glory and kingdom of God!

This being true, it should be our magnificent obsession to comprehend the Gospel. It is an impossible task, but worth every ounce of effort spent, for all the riches of God and every true joy for the believer are found there. It is worth shutting ourselves away from every lesser endeavor and inferior pleasure so that we might sound the depths of God’s grace revealed in this one message. A beautiful illustration of such a passion is found in Job 28:1-9:

Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where they refine gold. Iron is taken from the dust, and copper is smelted from rock. Man puts an end to darkness, and to the farthest limit, he searches out the rock in gloom and deep shadow. He sinks a shaft far from habitation, forgotten by the foot; they hang and swing to and fro far from men. The earth, from it comes food, and underneath it is turned up as fire. Its rocks are the source of sapphires, and its dust contains gold. The path no bird of prey knows, nor has the falcon’s eye caught sight of it. The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it. He puts his hand on the flint; he overturns the mountains at the base.

Ike said...


Even in the ancient world of Job, there were men who were willing to push themselves to the farthest limit, to deprive themselves of surface life, to burrow through solid rock in gloom and deep shadow, to risk life and limb, and to leave no stone unturned in their search for the treasures of this earth. How much more should we who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, be willing to leave off the things of lesser glory to pursue the glories of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why then, is a true passion for the Gospel so scarce among God’s people? First, it is because the Gospel most often preached today is a terribly reduced or truncated version of the original. The Gospel of God cannot be contained in a tract, or summed up in a few spiritual laws. It is good to understand that God has a plan, that we are sinners, and that Christ died and rose again that we might be saved by faith, but it is only the beginning. It is when we search the Scriptures, and discover the meaning of these things that we realize that we are on a journey that will last beyond our lifetime and into a thousand eternities. With each new truth discovered we are more and more captured by the Glory of the Gospel until it consumes our thoughts and governs our will. This exploration into the Gospel is necessary if we are ever to be passionate about it.

A second reason for a lack of passion is that the Gospel is seen by many to be Christianity 101, or the baby step into the faith that is quickly mastered and left behind for deeper things. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Gospel is the “deep thing” of Christianity! Eschatology and the book of Revelation will be mastered at the second coming, but our pursuit of the knowledge of the Gospel will continue on throughout eternity. The greatest of Christians will never master the Gospel, but every true Christian will be mastered by it!