Brick #86 – Psalm 1

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The question that this Psalm prompts in my mind is this: I know that I should delight in God’s Word. I know that I would be blessed if I delighted in God’s Word. But I don’t delight in God’s Word. It feels more like drudgery than delight. How do I get to the point where pondering the Word of God is a delight and not a duty?

Great question. I want to give you an illustration and then some thoughts  by godly men who have wrestled with this very question.

The illustration:

Most people know that they should exercise. They know how much better they would feel if they exercised. They know that exercise would benefit them physically, emotionally, and mentally. But the idea of exercising defeats them before they get started. They don’t like the idea of all that sweat; those sore muscles; those dirty clothes; the cost of a gym membership or running shoes. They don’t like the time it will take and what they will have to give up if they are going to exercise consistently. But they do like the idea of feeling better; looking better; sleeping better. So they decide to start and find it to be drudgery just like they thought it would be. But they keep at it even when they don’t feel like it; even when it just feels like they are going through the motions. And after six weeks they begin to notice the benefits starting to kick in.  The have lost weight. They can run a mile without feeling like dying. They have gone from an ab to a two-pack. And before too long they realize they are looking forward to their scheduled exercise time rather than dreading it.

What once was drudgery and duty has now become delight!

Thoughts from John Piper:

So someone may ask: How can I come to delight in the word of God? My answer is twofold:

1) pray for new tastebuds on the tongue of your heart;
2) meditate on the staggering promises of God to his people.

The same psalmist who said, “How sweet are your words to my taste” (Psalm 119:103), said earlier, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). He prayed this, because to have spiritual eyes to see glory, or to have holy tastebuds on the tongue of the heart, is a gift of God. No one naturally hungers for, and delights in, God and his wisdom.

But when you have prayed, indeed while you pray, meditate on the benefits God promises to his people and on the joy of having Almighty God as your helper now and forever. Psalm 1:3–4 says that the person who meditates on God’s word “is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

Thoughts from David Platt:

I just want to encourage you to pray for this kind of delight in the law of the Lord. Ask the Lord for this. And pray this, and then think through, “Okay. How can I meditate on this word day and night? How can I make sure at the beginning of my day to fill my mind with God’s word? At the end of the day, to fill my mind with God’s word in a way that saturates the whole course of my day with God’s word?”

I guarantee you that if you are intentional about meditating, fixing your mind, your heart on God’s word in the beginning of your day, at the end of your day, and thinking through how can that saturate your life during the day, I guarantee you, you will see, discover, experience this word as delightful. Full of delight.

Thoughts from George Mueller:

I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord…. I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it…. What is the food of the inner man? Not prayer, but the word of God; and… not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.

May this brick help you to experience delight as you come to the Word of God each day – anticipating how the Lord is going to use His Word to strengthen you with everything that you will need to deal with whatever comes your way that day.

Brick #85 – Hebrews 13

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Chapter 13 is very different from all the previous chapters. The author is finishing up his letter and in a stream of consciousness sequence starts mentioning one thing after another that he wants his readers to remember. These include quick comments about love, hospitality, entertaining angels, prison ministry, marriage, sex, money, contentment, mentoring, false teaching, worship, sharing with others, obedience, leadership, and prayer.

There are two things that stand out to me besides all these one-liners. One is what I consider a funny comment and I wonder if the author said it tongue in cheek. Verse 22 says, “I appeal to you brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.” Briefly? Really? This is one of the longest epistles in the New Testament.

And secondly, I love the benediction in verses 20-21:

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

If you are looking for a way to spice up the way that you pray for others just pay attention to the benedictions in the epistles. Here are some that I really enjoy: Romans 15:13, Ephesians 3:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, Jude 24-25.

And now as we conclude our pondering of Hebrews I will pray a benedictory blessing over you:

May the God of all joy, who has torn away the veil that kept us from drawing near to Him, fuel you each day with a delight for His life-giving Word and give you a persevering hope as we endure the troubles of this world and eagerly await a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Brick #84 – Hebrews 12

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3 Considerations. 2 Questions. 1 Reminder.

The Considerations

1) Consider the Race – The Christian life is often compared to a race. But it is much more like a marathon than a sprint. The race is long. The race is hard. The race requires much training in order to finish well. Serious runners are careful about diet. Serious runners train their minds as well as their bodies. Serious runners eliminate anything that would hinder their running. Serious runners have coaches to help them run better.  You get the idea. You can make the applications to running the Christian life with excellence and endurance.

2) Consider Those Watching the Race – The author has just talked about all the saints of old who are rooting for the present day believers to run well. I suspect the stands are full of our believing family members as well who have preceded us in death – cheering for us to stay the course, to run with perseverance, to do whatever it takes to run well. They have already crossed their finish line and want nothing less than for us to run  our race in a way that will have the Lord saying “Well done” when we cross our finish line.

3) Consider Jesus – I love verses 2-3: “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” There is nothing that we will go through in this life that is any worse than what Jesus went through. As we keep our focus on Him, and not the circumstances of this life, then the race is put into perspective when it seems crazy difficult.

The Questions

With all of that in mind a great question to ask ourselves is this…

Question # 1: What do I need to do NOW so that I am prepared when the race becomes unbearably hard? NOW is the time to prepare for then! Now is the time to ready ourselves for hitting the wall. Now is the time to prepare so that we do not give up when we feel like we can’t go on. What next step are you going to take so that you are ready when the time comes? And the time will indeed come. At some point, if it is not already here, life WILL be hard.

Sometimes life is hard just because we live in a fallen world. And sometimes life is hard because we are dealing with the natural consequences of our own sin. In either case, we know the promise of God’s Word that tells that “for those that love God all things work together for our good.” (Romans 8:28). So when life is hard that is NOT the time to grumble, complain, and whine. Rather it is the time to ask a great question…

Question # 2: WHAT, Lord, are you trying to teach me as I go through this sanctifying process of discipline and as You work in my life to make me more like Jesus? Many people instead ask, “Why God?” when life is hard. The better question is “What God”? It is a statement of faith to ask what rather than why because it underscores the fact that we believe the Lord is at work.

The Reminder

Even though the author of Hebrews has made it clear that life for believers will not be easy, he finishes this chapter by letting them know that it will still be worth it to run well and to finish strong. This life is temporary. The next life is eternal. This life is full of temporary pleasures; in the next life there will be fullness of joy. The kingdom of this world is shaky and unpredictable but we are receiving a “kingdom that cannot be shaken.” So his reminder to them, and to us, is that no matter what you go through in this world and no matter how hard life gets… it will get better. A LOT better.

May this brick help you to fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter  of our faith and to be encouraged when life is hard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick #83 – Hebrews 11

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“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Question: What does faith look like in real life? What do those who live by faith do practically?

This is what the author of Hebrews addresses in chapter 11. As his readers are trying to get a handle on this new way of living, faith based verses rules based, he takes them back to their heroes and shows them practically how they went about living by faith. I have come up with 20 different ways – each of which are worth pondering how they might play out in your life.

Here is the question I find myself asking: Is there anything about the way that I live out my walk with Jesus that actually takes faith? Perhaps you might ask yourself the same question as you ponder these.

  • People of faith offer God acceptable sacrifices v. 4
  • People of faith seek to please God v. 5
  • People of faith live in reverent fear v. 7
  • People of faith obey even when… v. 8
  • People of faith cling to the promises of God v. 9
  • People of faith consider God to be faithful v. 11
  • People of faith live like strangers to this world v. 13
  • People of faith yearn for Heaven v. 16
  • People of faith give God that which they love most v. 17
  • People of faith bless others vs. 20-21
  • People of faith acknowledge God’s sovereignty v. 22
  • People of faith identify with the people of God v. 25
  • People of faith do not indulge in the fleeting pleasures of sin v. 25
  • People of faith look forward to their reward v. 26
  • People of faith stand against ungodly authorities v. 27
  • People of faith endure v. 27
  • People of faith live counter-culturally. They risk looking foolish v. 28
  • People of faith expect great things from God vs. 29-30
  • People of faith fight valiantly against the enemy vs. 33-34
  • People of faith suffer for righteousness’ sake v. 36

May this brick help you to live by faith each and everyday as you see to please God.

Bonus: A number of years ago I wrote a song about Hebrews 11:6. If you want to hear a bad singer and guitar player then you can check it out HERE. Just words HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick #82 – Hebrews 10

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In many ways, chapter 10 is a review chapter before the author changes gears in chapter 11. Verses 1-18 rehearse what has already been said about Jesus: He is better! And He is our great High Priest who has made a way for us to go behind the curtain directly into the presence of God. Verses 19-21 summarize everything in this way…

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God…

At this point the author gives us 3 “let us” exhortations in verses 22-25. There are 14 “let us” exhortations sprinkled throughout Hebrews and they serve as some of the most practical ways to apply everything the author says. Here are all 14…

  • “While the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” (4:1)
  • Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the Word God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (4:11)
  • “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (4:14)
  • Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ((4:16)
  • Let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity.” (6:1)
  • Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” (10:22)
  •  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (10:23)
  •  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (10:24)
  • Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely.” (12:1)
  • Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus.” (12:1-2)
  • Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.” (12:28)
  • Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” (12:28)
  • Let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” (13:13)
  • Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” (13:15)

Verses 26-39 are also a rehearsal and a reminder of a very strong warning that the author gave back in 6:4-12. In effect he says this: “I know that your old way of approaching God is something that you are familiar with and comfortable with. But don’t ever go back. It is a dead end road. Jesus is better! Cling to Him fiercely and you will be rewarded greatly. The Lord is faithful.”

May this brick encourage you to press on in the faith knowing that no matter what enticements this world tantalizes you with… Jesus is better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick #81 – Hebrews 9

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The tabernacle of Moses was the temporary place of worship that the Israelites built according to God’s specifications while wandering the desert and used until King Solomon built a temple. It was designed to provide a graphic picture for God’s people of what relationship to Him entailed. In this brick I want to use that picture to help you to evaluate where you are in your relationship to God and then to encourage you to take the next step toward drawing nearer to Him.

The first picture below gives an arial view of what the tabernacle might have looked like. The second picture gives a more detailed view of what was included inside the tabernacle.

Each of the things mentioned in the diagram above prompt a question that you might ask yourself.

The Entrance: There is only one way to get inside. Just as there is only one way to come into a relationship with God. Jesus. Which side of the gate are you on?

The Courtyard

The Altar of Burnt Offering – This is where anyone could come and bring their sacrificial offering and have their sins forgiven. Have you offered yourself to God as a living sacrifice and experienced the forgiveness of your sins?

The Bronze Basin – This is where the priest would go cleanse themselves before entering the Holy Place. As believers we are all now priests before the living God. The water from the Basin for the believer represents baptism. Having had your sins forgiven have you been baptized?

The Holy Place

The Golden Lampstand – Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World”. And to His followers He said, “You are the light of the world.” Having had your sins forgiven and having been baptized are you a light in the darkness of this world representing Jesus in a way that draws attention to Him and not yourself?

The Table of Bread – Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Are you being nourished daily by the bread that is available to us through the Word God?

The Altar of Incense – The incense was a special blend that was very pleasing to God. In Scripture incense represents the prayers of God’s people. Do you delight in coming to God in prayer and do you work at making your prayers a delight to the ears of God? 

The Curtain – Very few people ever went behind the curtain. Not just any priest but only the High Priest was allowed to do this. But because the curtain was torn down the middle upon the death of Christ, ALL believers have access to the Most Holy Place, aka The Holy of Holies. And yet many believers are content to stay on this side of the curtain. They are content to read the Word and say their prayers and live a forgiven life but they are not willing to draw near to the glory of God and experience Him in a way that most people do not. What is keeping you from enjoying a relationship with God that most people will never have the courage to experience?

The Most Holy Place

The Arc of the Covenant – The Arc of the Covenant represented the very presence of God. To be in the Holy of Holies was not to just know a lot about God but to know God. When the saints of God encountered Him they found themselves face down in His presence because His glory was so magnificent. They found themselves in absolute awe declaring “Holy, Holy, Holy.” They found themselves undone by their sinful nature as God’s holiness revealed every little imperfection. They found themselves declaring the greatness of His Name and praising His mighty works. They found themselves emboldened to go out into the world and testify to all that they had seen and heard. Is this anywhere close to your experience with God?

So…. Where are you? Outside the gate? In the courtyard? In the Holy Place? In the Most Holy Place. Figure out where you are and then where you want to be. What steps do you need to take to move closer to God?

And if I can help just let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick #80 – Hebrews 8

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How would you react if a well respected, highly thought of, godly man stood up in church as the guest preacher this Sunday and said, “You might as well throw your Bibles away – they are out of date and old fashioned and I have a better book for you to base your life on”?

That is essentially what the author of Hebrews says in chapter 8. Notice verse 13: “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” What we know as the Old Testament was for the Hebrews their Bible – the Scriptures. And they were being told that the part of their Scriptures that they revered more than any other – the books of the Law as written down by their hero Moses – was OBSOLETE.

I have no doubt that it took a while for the Hebrews to wrap their heads around this information. And the only reason they eventually concurred was because the author of Hebrews did a masterful job of showing his readers from THEIR Scriptures that this was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning. The question that the Hebrews were finally beginning to comprehend was this: If the covenant that God made with His people through Moses was insufficient to secure our forgiveness of sin and make us eternally righteous in the eyes of God then what was it’s purpose? Perhaps this illustration will help to answer the question. I will follow it up with a few comments…

 

  1. The Law was never intended to lead to salvation. It merely provided temporary relief from the guilt of sin.
  2. Doing good, or trying to please God by obeying His commands only led to a dead end because absolutely no one could perfectly obey the Law. And yet, this is the basis of most religions today. The religious faithful try as hard as they can to earn the favor of God by doing the best they can but their good works aren’t good enough.
  3. The Law was designed to show God’s covenant people that there had to be another way, a better way.
  4. Even in the Old Testament it was not the keeping of the Law that provided salvation, it was faith in the blood of the sacrificial lamb to cover their sin that brought about forgiveness.
  5. The author of Hebrews is making a compelling case that Jesus, the better High Priest, who did live a life that perfectly obeyed God’s Law, was the better Moses and the author of a New Covenant – not based on keeping the Law but based on faith that His sacrificial blood is sufficient to cover our sin and secure for us salvation.

Interestingly, within a few years of the writing of the Book of Hebrews, the whole sacrificial system  of the Jewish people was made obsolete. In 70 A.D. the Romans conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple. Thus there was no way for annual sacrifices to be made at Yom Kippur for the forgiveness of sin. 

Fortunately there was no longer a need for this to happen. Because God had provided a better way… Jesus!

May this brick help you to understand God’s great plan from the beginning. And to recognize that even in today’s world your good works aren’t good enough to win the favor of God. But Jesus’ good work on the cross is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick #79 – Hebrews 7

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Some passages are easier to ponder than others and readily lend themselves to application. This is not one of those chapters. Hebrews 7 focuses on a fairly obscure character from the Older Testament named Melchizedek. He is only mentioned in a few verses in Genesis 14 and Psalm 110. But he is hugely important in Hebrews as the author makes his point that Jesus is our great High Priest and so much more excellent than the priests of the Older Testament.

In today’s brick I want to focus on two points of application that emerged from the text as I pondered it this week. I will put them in the form of question and answer.

1) Why is the practice of tithing (or giving generously as the Newer Testament calls it) so important? 

There are two answers to this question. Hebrews 7:2 tells us that “…and to (Melchizedek) Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything.” (see also Genesis 14:20-24). The first answer is this: Tithing is a way to remind us that God is the owner of EVERYTHING and that we are merely stewards of what He has entrusted to us. It is exceptionally easy for us to take pride in all our possessions and equally as easy for our possessions to begin to possess us. Tithing is a way that we humble ourselves before God and acknowledge that it ALL belongs to Him. And it is way for us to express our gratitude for everything that He allows us to steward.

The second answer goes like this: Tithing is a way that the Lord tests us to see if we are GOOD stewards and a barometer as to whether we can faithfully steward MORE. It was immediately after Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe in Genesis 14 that the Lord made a promise to him about having a child in his old age (Genesis 15:1-6). A child that would become the father of many nations whose number would be like the stars in the sky. It was because Abraham was faithful in the little things that God entrusted with greater things. And so it is with us.

2) What kind of prayers do you suppose Jesus is praying for you?

We read in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” This verse got me thinking. What do Jesus’ prayers for me sound like? I imagine that they sound very different than the prayers that I pray for myself. I imagine that they have less to do with my comfort and safety and health and money and more to do with my holiness and obedience and joy and nearness to God and protection from the evil one. John 17, I have no doubt, gives us some good clues as to what His prayers sound like. And interestingly, do you know what that prayer of His is called? The High Priestly Prayer!

So if you want to know how Jesus is praying for you then read John 17. And if you want to know how to model your prayers for others after Jesus’ prayers then read John 17.

May this brick spur you to think about what your practice of tithing reveals about you and to encourage your soul as you hear how Jesus is interceding for you.

 

 

 

 

Brick #78 – Hebrews 6

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The author of Hebrews has pushed the pause button in his discussion of the high priesthood in order to give a stern warning to his readers. In effect, he is saying “Stop acting like babies! Grow up.” In verse 1 he admonishes them to “go on to maturity.” So in this brick I want to try to answer this question: What does maturity for a believer look like? In other words, how would we know if we were indeed on the road to maturing in Christ. What I will NOT do is try to solve the theological conundrum that verses 4-8 presents. I will simply say this about those verses… The author is not saying that you can lose your salvation. But smarter people than me disagree on what they are saying to this audience of Hebrew Christians. Suffice to say that the author strongly encourages his readers to pursue spiritual growth and maturity or else they will deal with the consequences of this not happening. So…

What does spiritual maturity look like in the life of a believer? Here are 6 marks of a maturing believer that I think are a good place  to start in helping us evaluate if we are on the road to maturity.

1) A maturing believer ABIDES DILIGENTLY – The word abide is one of the great words in the Bible and John 15 is a great place learn more about abiding. Abiding diligently simply means that believers are looking continuously to the Lord for the nourishment they need to fuel their soul. The are readers and ponderers of the Word. They find their identity rooted in the love of God for them. They receive their strength and power from the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them.

2) A maturing believer WORSHIPS WHOLEHEARTEDLY –  They do this personally and they do this in community. Personally, they worship the Father on a daily basis as they praise Him and thank. They are aware that the god of this world is trying to divide their heart by offering things of this world as places where they can find their satisfaction. In community, they gather with other believers to exalt the Father and exult in His Son by the power of the Spirit. They don’t just go through the motions of a worship service but join corporately in the adoration of God.

3) A maturing believer SERVES JOYFULLY – They recognize that they are a part of the body of Christ and that for the body to be healthy every part of the body must do what it was created to do. They are looking for ways to serve in their local church as well as looking for ways to serve the capital C Church. And they do this not out of duty or obligation but with gladness because their desire is to see the church fulfill it’s mandate to make disciples of all nations.

4) A maturing believer LOVES GENEROUSLY – Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and then to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love God. Love people. A maturing believer is constantly fighting the innate selfishness that we all deal with and is looking for ways to demonstrate generous love by offering their time, talent, and money in service to God.

5) A maturing believer PRAYS BOLDLY – We know that we have an all access pass to the throne room of God and that we can ask God anything. But most believers never get past voicing childish prayers. They never get to the point where they are asking God to do “more than we can ask or imagine.” They never express prayers that are rooted in faith and ask God to do what only He can do. Maturing believers are learning to pray audacious prayers – prayers that are characterized by a deep rooted confidence in a Father’s generous love for His children.

6) A maturing believer GOES INTENTIONALLY – Our story has been radically changed by the gospel and it has brought about life transformation. Our story is now forever connected to God’s story and it is a story that the world needs to hear. Maturing believers take the Great Commission personally: “Go into all the world and make disciples….” They make the Great Commission their mission. They are on the lookout for opportunities to tell others about the goodness and greatness of God and to invite them to discover how their story can also connect to God’s story.

May this brick help you to discern whether you are on the road to maturity or whether you are still acting like a baby. Read again verses 4-8 for some stern encouragement to earnestly pursue spiritual growth.

 

 

 

Brick #77 – Hebrews 5

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The first 10 verses of this great chapter focus on the role of the high priest and Melchizedek. I am going to skip over these since this will be dealt with in more detail when we come to chapters 7-8. My pondering focus will be 2 application questions that emerged as I pondered verses 11-14.

About this (the high priesthood) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

1) How do we become “dull of hearing”? – The author insinuates that his readers were at one time NOT dull of hearing but over time they have become that way. This can be true for us as well. We don’t want this kind of accusation leveled against us so what are a few things that contribute to spiritual hearing loss?

  • Competing voices – I am a firm believer in this statement: The voices we listen to effect the choices we make! What other voices, besides the voice of God commands your attention?
  • Distractions – Admittedly we live in a world full of distractions.  One of the things we can do is to eliminate these when we are trying to listen to God. For me, when I am reading and pondering, this means the TV is not on. Music is not playing. I am not reading while trying to have other conversations. I find as quiet a place as possible and focus my attention on what the Lord is saying.
  • Neglect – The easiest way to become dull of hearing is to not listen to what God says at all. This happens easier than you might think. You miss church. Life gets busy. Our routine is interrupted. And before you know it it has been several weeks and you have not heard the voice of God.
  • Disobedience – When we neglect God we don’t give God a chance to speak. When we disobey, we pull away so that even if He does speak our hearts are far enough away that we can’t hear what He is trying to stay. The old adage is indeed true: If you feel far away from God, guess who moved!

2) What does it mean to be a baby Christian and how do you NOT stay that way? Being a baby Christian has nothing to do with how long you have been a Christian. It essentially comes down to this: Have you learned how to feed yourself? Babies don’t feed themselves. They are dependent on others to feed them. The author of Hebrews is calling out his readers and saying STOP being babies. Start feeding yourselves. So here’s the deal…. If your only connection to God’s Word is when you hear a sermon or listen to someone else teach a Bible lesson then you are being spoon fed and you are still a baby. It’s time to grow up and learn how to feed yourself. This is where pondering comes in. Pondering has to do with chewing on the Word of God. You don’t have to chew on milk. But you do have to chew on solid food. 

I love the illustration of a cow chewing the cud. It chews on it’s food and then swallows it, digests what it can and then regurgitates what it didn’t digest so that it can chew on it some more. This process is repeated until the cow has gotten as much nutrition out of the food as it possibly can. This is pondering. Read the Word of God. Think on the Word of God. Apply the Word of God. Repeat. Then repeat again.

May the Lord use this brick to keep you from becoming dull of hearing and to challenge you to grow up in your salvation by learning to feed yourself on the solid food of God’s satisfying Word.

 

 

 

 

 

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