My daughter’s birthday was three weeks ago. Normally we celebrate family birthdays at home by cooking something on the grill and having a birthday sheet cake and ice cream. However this year Joy’s husband and I wanted to do something different for Joy. So we put our heads together and came up with a plan for an all day surprise celebration which included Curtis and the children taking Joy all the way to Raleigh to see a movie, followed by shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall, and then me “suddenly showing up” to take them all to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.
Everything went just as we’d planned … well, almost as planned. You see, I had planned on everyone eating a full meal … but when it came time to order our food, no one wanted a “meat and potato” meal. Instead they all wanted appetizers. So we ordered and ate two appetizers. But because I felt like their physical bodies needed something more substantial than appetizers, I also ordered three pizzas. And of course … since we were dining at The Cheesecake Factory, we had to eat some cheesecake too.
Joy’s surprise birthday celebration was everything Curtis and I had hoped it would be. We have no doubt in our minds whatsoever that Joy was absolutely surprised from the beginning of her “birth” day to the very end. Her excitement and happiness was obvious to all of us by her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes. And it was forever memorialized in my heart when near the end of her birthday dinner; she put her fork down, looked lovingly into the eyes of her husband, and children and stated “I just want yall to know that if I were to die tonight, I’d die a very happy woman.”
I shared my daughter’s birthday story with you because I wanted to talk with you this week about appetizers. I could be wrong about this and if I am please forgive me. But it sure seems to me that most Christians (I’m referring only to those who have been a Christian for several years) prefer the “appetizers” or the “milk” of God’s Word over the “meat” of God’s Word. And evidently this isn’t something new that Christians have recently started because this very issue was addressed by Paul. Here’s what he had to say about it …
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food.—Hebrews 5:12 (AMP)
Here’s the same verse in a different translation … “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.”—Hebrews 5:12; NLT
From this verse we understand that “new” or “baby” Christians NEED the milk of God’s Word. Milk refers to the elementary teachings of God’s Word. What are the elementary teachings of God’s Word? Paul tells us exactly what they are in the sixth chapter of Hebrews. They are …
· Faith in God
· Baptism and its meaning
· The laying on of hands
· The resurrection of the dead
· Eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:1-2)
Now that you know the difference between meat teaching and milk teaching I’ve got a question for you. Why would someone who’s been a Christian for several years settle for what Paul refers to as the milk of God’s Word when they can have “the whole enchilada” … the “meat” … the “deeper truths” of God’s Word? Why stay a baby in your Christian faith … when you can become an authority-speaking, mountain-moving, powerful man /woman of God?
Personally speaking, I’m craving “meat and potatoes”… the deeper truths of God’s Word. And one way or the other I’m going to get it. How about you? Are you a babe in the things of God … in the Christian faith walk? If so, you need the milk. Then after you drink the milk for a while you’ll be ready for the meat. On the other hand, if you’ve been a Christian for several years and you’re still drinking milk … you need to change your diet. It’s time to grow up.
Debra Joy Wallace is a Christian columnist and speaker. Facebook page: Weight Loss Empowerment with Debra Joy – Website: www.debrawallace.com – Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org