Daily Devotionals

Come to the Table

Pastor Daniel Bramlett

I love to teach and I love to think. I really enjoy reading books that push me and challenge me to think about life in new and different ways. I love to learn. It’s fun for me to look at the Scriptures, break them down and see things I’ve never seen before. I realize in all of this that I’m in a small category of people that enjoy doing these things. But reading and studying the Word doesn’t have to stay a small percentage of the world. This is not an activity like Legos or astronomy. When it comes to the Word, it’s not a question of whether you like it or not. We don’t get to say, “It’s just not my thing to do Word work.” This book is indispensable for believers. Either we learn to love and cherish it, or we let others pass along their second-hand passion to us. 

Who wants second-hand love? Would you rather hold your spouse or let someone else describe the act of embracing your spouse to you? Would you rather eat a delicious meal or read someone’s description of their own meal? When it comes to the Word, first-hand is always better. 

Paul tells his friends in Corinth their experience with the Word is almost all second-hand. He says they’ve learned how to be content with baby food and left the big people experiences in the Word to others. This is unacceptable, but I’ve found that many older believers (people of any age who’ve been following Jesus for more than a few years) are in this category. We come to Christ, allow Him to deal with our most pressing issues and then just sit down. We balk at any conversation with Him that would lead to real, inner change. We resist the idea that we have deep, lingering sin. We think that just because we don’t struggle with major exterior issues that we have no interior issues at all. This lie perpetuates itself as a lot of believers content themselves with the milk of the Word.

What does Paul mean by “milk”? He’s not saying at all that there is a hierarchy in the Word; that some scuba divers, people who love to dissect the language, can somehow attain a higher place in the Kingdom through their deep knowledge of the Word. He’s not saying that an elementary understanding of the Word is of any lesser importance. In fact, Jesus says little children take priority in the Kingdom and He says people who know very little theology surpass the teachers of the Law. Milk vs. meat is not about how much you know but how hungry you are for more. It’s not about your education, but your inspiration. It’s not a question of intelligence, but one of relationship. The 10-year-old can find himself ready for a steak while the 80-year-old can still be sucking a bottle. We’re talking spiritually here, folks. This is the Kingdom we’re talking about, not McDonalds. 

Paul says in 1st Corinthians that jealousy and division in the Church are the result of the pure milk diet of his friends . If you’ve been removed from baby diets for a while, let me refresh your memory. Babies do well with milk. They’re made for it. But if we give them too much or try to push harder food too soon, the results can be disastrous for the baby and anyone near them. Not to give too much detail, but when I say disastrous, I mean smelly, colored, chunky stuff comes out of both ends of their bodies at a rate too fast to catch or contain. Yuck. Paul says the jealousy and division in the Church is none better than baby vomit and poop. There you go. 

If you find yourself wanting more than milk, if you’re tired of being at the table and watching everyone else chow down while you sit and suck your bottle, don’t just give up! Don’t feel like you have to buy the biggest commentary and quickly read it all, either! Pray. Ask God to deal with any sin that is keeping you from growing in Him. Expect some painful moments as He works to remove deeply rooted sin or debilitating scars. Trust Him as He leads you down unknown paths. If you want more, you can get more, but not without some stretching and growth. However, trust me when I say, you were designed for more. You were made for the feast. God has set the table. Where will you be the next time He asks and expects you to eat and drink deeply?

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