Monday, 08 April 2013 09:55

Learning to Feed Yourself

Written by  Allen Newton
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Parenting is quite an adventure and the Lord teaches me a lot through our children.  Every morning we get up before daylight to feed our five month old a bottle of formula. Typically I will hold his bottle while he eats. This week, he reached up to actually hold the bottle with his own two hands. This step was a small but important milestone on his journey to care for himself and it gave me great joy to see!

 

We also have a son who is a freshman at Auburn. Lately he has been exploring how to cook his own meals and it has apparently been quite an adventure. He calls regularly to ask advice on how to prepare his daily cuisine. He must be doing pretty good with it because all of his friends show up when he cooks. It is exciting as a parent to see him mature and grow as well.

 

Our spiritual lives are much like our physical ones. Over time we must learn how to feed and nurture ourselves. If we don’t, we cannot become the healthy, strong people that our Heavenly Father has created us to be.

 

We are blessed to live in a time and place that has so many options to help us grow in our relationship with God. Excellent Christian radio stations, publications like this one, wonderful church families, internet access to the best preaching in the world. But sometimes I wonder how well are we doing at learning to feed ourselves. Don’t get me wrong…learning from good preaching and teaching is important, having a church family is absolutely imperative, but we must truly learn to nourish ourselves spiritually.

 

Are we spending time reading and studying the scriptures? Are we lingering in the presence of God in prayer? Are we walking with the Spirit and seeking his guidance in our daily living? In our culture I fear it is too easy to simply let others feed us and we never grow to the full maturity that God intended.

 

The apostle Paul reminds us in Hebrews 5:12-14: “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

 

There are so many great resources out there that can help us in this endeavor. I highly recommend Rick Warren’s book, “How to Study the Bible”, Wayne Codeiro’s “Life Journal”, and the App, youversion.com. These resources are wonderful tools to move us from being spoon-fed by others to a mature place of sustaining ourselves.

 

The word of God is rich and flavorful, yet too many followers have not yet begun to sample the abundance of His faithfulness and goodness on their own. This doesn’t happen overnight, but like an infant who grows into a fully grown adult, it is an everyday process of maturity.  Like my son in his apartment kitchen, we learn to prepare a Godly gourmet meal to feed on.

 

As we draw our daily nourishment from the Spirit’s smorgasbord we come to realize the wonderful words of the Psalmist who said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  (Psalm 34:8)

 

This understanding doesn’t happen accidentally, but rather, through intentional time with the Master chef we learn the secrets of His grace and love that bring flavor and beauty to life. So when is the last time you really tasted the goodness of God’s word?

 

Are you tired of a steady diet of pre-processed formula? Are you hungry for something more hardy and lasting? Then set aside time this week to sit down with the Master and dig into the goodness of His word.

 

Allen Newton is senior pastor of Saint James United Methodist Church on Vaughn Road.  Visit them this Sunday or check out their website at www.sjlife.com.

Last modified on Monday, 08 April 2013 09:58
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