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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."—1 Peter 2:2–3 (NIV)
My one-year-old daughter, Zoë, is a funny little creature. She’s an immensely strong-willed, but affectionate, bundle of energy and loudness. She has a lot of adorable qualities, quirks, and habits, but my favorite has to be her love of food. She’s ALWAYS hungry—just like her Pops! Seriously, this girl’s insatiable. She never turns down food, and when she sees you eating, she starts going crazy asking for some. She does this hilarious smacking of her lips that lets you know she’s coming for your dish. And if you move the plate, she’ll switch directions, climb over things, or start exclaiming, “Nam nam!” She craves food, she craves her bottle, and she will accept whatever she can get—sometimes my parents give her sardines or liver, and she gobbles it up.
When I read today’s verse, I’m reminded of Zoë. Why? Well, because I believe the Lord desires for us to be like my daughter when it comes to His Word and ways. The word for crave (epipothēsate) is a strong word. It means to deeply long for, strain after intensely, desire greatly, yearn affectionately, and pursue with love. Biblical Greek scholar and theologian Johann Bengel equates it to having a singularly-minded appetite. He points out, “It is their only occupation, so strong is their desire for it.”
This is what we should be like. Our craving for pure, genuine spiritual milk should be as intense, desperate, and frequent as the hunger pangs of a newborn. As strange as it sounds, we need to approach the Christian life in the most childlike manner possible, always! We can never outgrow or move beyond our need for the very simplest elements of the gospel . . . the beautiful simplicity of the message of Christ, of His words and His example.
It’s tempting to want to reach for deeper things, for the seasoned meats. And yes, while we’ll all need to, at some point, digest solid food (the profound doctrines and practical instructions of the Word, the hardest lessons and commands), we must never, even in maturity, neglect the pure milk—the simplicity of the gospel. We must never move beyond verses like John 3:16 and Romans 10:9–10, thinking we “get it.” Paul, for all his theological depth and profundity, for all the mysteries that had been revealed to him, never moved beyond the genuine simplicity of the gospel, beyond the basic understanding of our sin and God’s grace and our desperate need for Christ. Nor should we!
DIG: Read 1 Peter 2:1–12, 1 Corinthians 3:1–4, and Hebrews 5:11–14.
DISCOVER: Why do you think it’s important for us to continually go back to the pure milk, even after being mature in the faith?
DISPLAY: Over the next 10 days, go back to the milk of the Scriptures. Look back through the first 12 chapters of John and ask the Lord to help you absorb the words of Christ.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.