1 Peter 2:1-3 “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
I’ve always loved babies. They are so cute and cuddly. As these little ones grow, they charm everyone with their cute antics and funny sayings. One of the questions we often ask toddlers is, “How big is baby?” We expect them to stretch their arms wide and respond, “So big!” As the years pass we assume the child will continue to grow even bigger and mature even more. If they didn’t we would know something was wrong. This expectation of growth applies to more than babies and toddlers. It is for God’s children too.
When we come to know the Lord and ask Him to be our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit. He changes us and we become new creations in Christ. There is nothing we can do to earn this blessing; it is a free gift from God.
At the beginning of our Christian life we have limited knowledge and experience. We don’t understand spiritual things or have the same level of faith or understanding that a more mature believer may have. It is a wonderfully exciting time, but it’s also the beginning of a life-long growth spurt. God works to change us into a mature believer who reflects Christ in all we say and do. But we must cooperate with Him. If we don’t, our development will be stunted.
Years ago dad planted a number of saplings in our yard. Over time these twig-like seedlings have grown into beautiful healthy trees … at least most of them have. Behind the barn at the edge of the property there sits a line of deciduous and evergreen trees. All of these were planted at the same time. But you would never know it because two remain scrubby and underdeveloped. We have speculated about the cause and have come to the conclusion that something in the soil stunts their growth. In this environment they will never reach their full potential.
Peter tells us our personal growth as Christians comes from God’s Word, the Bible. Just as a newborn baby needs milk to grow, believers need the nourishment provided through the Word. This God-inspired letter teaches us about who God is and what He is like. It reveals how powerless we are on our own, but it also instructs us how to utilize all the blessings at our disposal through Christ. It gives directives to show us how we are to live and respond to the world around us. We must sink our roots deep into the soil of the truth and cooperate with the Spirit as He molds our life. This is the way to become “so big” in Christ. Without it we will never reach our full potential, but will remain scrubby and underdeveloped Christians.
We expect babies and saplings and Christians to grow into maturity. If they don’t something is very wrong. Nourishment is necessary for any type of growth, and for God’s children a life-long growth spurt comes through love and obedience to His word.
So, how big are you? I hope you can respond, “So big and growing!”
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.