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Therefore!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson


Pastor
Cecil Thompson

I Peter 2:1-3

"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." 

It is fascinating that we can launch into the words of a particular passage without considering what has preceded it. Here is another illustration where chapter two begins with the word "therefore". Always we need to ask ourselves the age old question; "What's the [therefore] therefore?"

Looking back into chapter one, we discover that Peter has just been speaking about the temporary nature of life, and how quickly it passes away. It is like grass that fades and passes away. So our condition really is very delicate.

With a substantial subscriber list, each day I am sending the Daily-E-Votional to people around the world. Many are brothers and sisters I have never met, but with whom I will be spending eternity. Many of them---you included---may be going through situations which may be uncomfortable or even may be life threatening.

All of our conditions are individual, specific, unique, but always delicate. The common ground, is that we never know when our condition will change. We can be sailing along with no problems and suddenly we are brought low by the report of a visit with the family doctor.

On a light hearted note, let me share a humorous story. It seems that a man was called back to his doctor following his annual physical. The doctor was wearing a grim face and told the man that he was in terrible physical condition and could expect to live no longer than a few months.

The man sad to the doctor, "That is terrible! I want a second opinion." Without hesitation the doctor said, "You are ugly too!"

One thing is certain---we need to constantly strive to grow in the Lord. Peter lists a number of things that prevent growth: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander of every kind.

These may be likened to tumors in our body. The tumors are invasive and will prevent the natural growth and development. This is why surgery or chemical therapy must be undertaken. "The bad has to go before the good can grow!" This is true spiritually as well.

Peter likens the believer to a newborn baby. I am told that the Hebrew midwives used to have a bowl of crushed dates close at hand when a baby was born. They would plunge their finger into the date mixture and then massage the baby’s palate. This would stimulate sucking and the baby would be eager to nurse from its mother.

Those of us who encounter new Christians should have the same motivation to stimulate feasting on the Word of God. Telling them they need to is like telling your kids to eat their spinach, because it is good for them. That argument has never worked! Create desire! That's our goal!

Many elderly people must be hand fed. Just because a person looks mature, does not assure that they are mature. Now here is a distinct difference. Brand new Christians can most often be nurtured to the point of being able to feed themselves. They may even and eventually mature spiritually and even feed others.

On the other hand, many old petrified believers frequently are only able to function from feeding to feeding. We can try to encourage individual initiative, but be prepared to feed them over and over again. Do they need it? Yes! Does it take time and effort? Yes! Does God call some of His servants to this ministry? Yes!

We are all delicate, specific and unique. Being a child of God that we are, we have a ministry which is just our cup of tea. It is our challenge to discover it and begin to use it.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil

 

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