I marvel at God’s amazing patience towards mankind, as he desires more than anything for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1st Timothy 2:4). This same patience is an opportunity for those who have come to the saving knowledge of Christ, to grow in his likeness, being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Of course, you already know that, for we have spent so much time talking about personal growth. I take comfort in knowing that God is involved in this as well, “according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). It is, if you will, a cooperative effort between God and His faithful follower.
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
as new born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…
1st Peter 2:1-2
Are you like me? If I seek to rid myself of something, I need to put something in its place rather quickly, or else I am right back where I started or at times, worse. (Read Matthew 12:43-45). So, Peter exhorts his readers to do this very thing and it begins with this, desire. The NIV uses the word “crave” while the ETRV translates it “be hungry for.” The Greek word means to long for. Sometimes I crave for two things that are in conflict with each other. One will win out every time. Could that be why Peter encourages them to lay aside those things listed? There is no way that such inner thoughts can assist the Christian in their journey towards Christlikeness.
With enthusiastic zeal, the babe in Christ who through “obeying the truth” was “born again…through the word of God” (1st Peter 1:22-23), is to now “desire the pure milk of the word.” Raymond Kelcy writes, “The word pure indicates that the milk is genuine, unadulterated. God’s word is pure, unmixed with human traditions, with falsehood, or with anything else which would destroy its purity.” Jesus said while He was confronted with things one could crave, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
The word of God needs to be an essential part of the Christian’s diet, for it is through the ingesting of that word “that you may grow thereby.” Interesting, isn’t it, that we can know such truths, yet struggle in applying this principle daily in our lives. I marvel at His patience and ask Him prayerfully, “Lord, create in me a heart only for You, that I may crave Your ways and not my own.” Amen.