Thursday, 31 March 2022

Moving Forward


Scripture: Hebrews 5 v 12 - 14: "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Hebrews 6 v 1 - 2: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

All over the world the Church is becalmed in the spiritual doldrums of ineffectiveness in carrying out the real commands of God for defeating the enemy and rescuing the lost.  The true gospel is buried under all sorts of programs and entertainment and in some places you could be mistaken for thinking you were at a rock concert!

What did Jesus do to pull in the crowds?  He healed the sick, all of them, and cast out demons from the afflicted.  They all recovered.  The lame walked, the dumb spoke, the deaf and blind could hear and see.  They all listened to Him share the wonders of Heaven and everlasting life.  Plus the downside of the world and the Hell it faces.  He spoke the stark truth and what He said then applies today.

You either live by the Word or by the world.  In God's kingdom you are healed of every sickness for free by the 39 lashes Jesus took on His back.  But today we have wonderful doctors and surgeons, specialists in every category of disease, for which you need to pay through the nose.  So for many people, faith in Jesus has left the building where our health is concerned.

It is the desire of the Holy Spirit, our Teacher, and the will of God that each one of us would move past the oracles of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ into the deeper teachings or strong meat that He has for us. It takes a leap of Faith!

Paul writes: let us go on to perfection NOT repeating over and over the foundation of repentance from dead works. He means for us to stop quibbling about past sins, hurts, injustices, bad memories, broken relationships or untimely deaths. These things hold us back and keep us on a treadmill of self pity. 

Jesus came to give us life more abundantly so forget about yourself and concentrate on Him and worship, Jesus Christ the Lord. Stop worrying about yourself and get busy serving the Lord by being a blessing to others. Make Jesus real to them through your testimony. You may be the last person they speak to so make your words count towards eternity. 

Paul says the preaching concerning faith towards God is baby food. Rather go out and exercise your faith, building it up by trusting God to answer prayer. You need to believe you can walk on water like Peter did. Or change water into wine. Or curse a fig tree. Jesus gave us examples of what Adam lost for humanity, but which He restored. 

Lay hands on the sick and believe Jesus within you to heal them. He may not heal all of them but He will change their lives in some way.  Sitting Sunday after Sunday hearing the doctrine of laying on of hands preached, does not heal the sick. Jesus said in Mark 16 - Lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Exercise your faith by doing what Jesus commanded His followers and the results will grow your faith, obedience, ministry more than 20 sermons on the first principles. 

What is the milk of the Word?  What is strong meat? Hebrews 5 v 13 says, "Everyone who uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." In 1 Peter 2 v 2 "As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby."
The important word is "skillful"!  

Think of skating on ice.  Before you can balance and glide, you wobble around the edge of the rink holding on to the wall.  Torville and Dean won 10 perfect scores at the World Ice Skating Dance Championships for Bolero.  They had to let go of the wall and the baby steps to do that.

They had to practice long hours, be exhausted, sore muscles, frustrated and disappointed at times, but perseverance, experience, improved skills and wonderful inspiration got them to the prize of the high calling.

That's the aim, or should be, of every one of us.  No, not Bolero, but to be like Jesus.  He is our example.  He said that He had given us the power, gifts and His presence with us to do everything He did, and even greater things than He did.  If we are still wobbling round the edge clinging to support, we are going nowhere slowly.

My spiritual life changed dramatically when God began to open up the hidden treasures in secret places in His Word. You have to get to the point of desiring to know the secrets of God. This is where the meat of the Word is stored and when you are determined to find those treasures He guides you to them.

Many people have not yet ventured into using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are part of the milk of the Word to help you grow. They are found in 1 Corinthians 12. The more you wisely use these gifts the more you understand the depths and greatness of God. Through the gifts His secrets are revealed; mysteries explained; miracles proclaimed. Let the Holy Spirit guide you into the Treasury of jewels and pearls of wisdom that you will find nowhere else. 

The Holy Spirit wants to see the promise of the Father in action.  The joyous times I have had with Him can be yours too.  You do not have to go far to find those who need a touch from God, they are all around you.  Put your faith to work because faith without works is dead.  Do not expect your pastor to do everything!  We are a kingdom of priests with Jesus within us longing for us to let Him loose on the needy.  Be bold, be strong for the Lord, our God, is with us!

Prayer: Heavenly Father it so delights You when Your children explore the hidden treasures of Your Kingdom. Lead us to these wonderful places to enjoy Your bounty.  Stir up the Holy Spirit within us so we may believe that You will heal the sick, and deliver the afflicted from demons, through our obedience. Help us to move forward to extend Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.