Have you ever seen a story in the news of a child or an elderly person who has died because they simply did not get the nutrients their body needed? In the instances when deaths of this type are not caused by illness, meaning they are preventable, I find them particularly tragic. How terrible to think that an otherwise healthy person simply lacked the nourishment they needed! There is a spiritual lesson to be learned in these instances. I want you to consider your spiritual life at this moment. Is it thriving? If not, will it be thriving by this time next year? What about a decade from now? If you feel like your spiritual life is on the verge of failing to thrive, then I suspect it’s hard to know the answer to those follow up questions. If that’s you, then I hope you are asking yourself at this very moment, what will it take for me to thrive spiritually?
1st Peter 2:1-2 says, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation.”
Here in verse one, Peter provides a sampling of types of sinfulness that can plague the lives of humans. To our spirituality, these sins are like poison. There are certainly more sins in the world than this list, but Peter gets his point across: Christians are called to remove sin from their life.
In the second verse, Peter takes another step. Here, he encourages believers to shift their desires away from the sinful things of verse one, and instead, he tells us to desire God’s Word. Notice what will happen if we do…we’ll grow. His point is clear: Christians are called to feast on God’s Word.
The growth of any living organism requires at least two things: a presence of that which nourishes and an absence of that which destroys. For a flower to grow, water, sunlight, and soil are necessary. If instead, I remove those things or put harsh chemicals at the base of the flower, should I be surprised if it dies? For my children to thrive physically, I need to feed them healthy, balanced meals, and ensure they get rest and exercise. I think you’d agree that I should also not poison them. Is your spiritual life thriving? If not, Peter presents us with a simple formula for spiritual growth. It’s a formula that is backed by our own observations of biological life. If you want your spiritual life to thrive, remove poison and receive nourishment. Remove sin from your life and instead, fervently seek and consume God’s Word. If you want to grow closer to God with every passing year of your life, put aside what poisons your relationship with Him, and seek that which nourishes. If, five years from now, I am the same or worse spiritually, then I’ll know what I failed to do. I pray you examine yourself now. Begin building now what can be a growing spiritual life for the rest of your life. Rid yourself of sin, and desire the pure nourishment of God’s Word, so that your spiritual life can thrive.
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