Purity in a Diluted World
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation (I Peter 2:2)
Have you ever thought about how much is watered-down, distorted, or is downright artificial in our society? Much of what you get is no longer pure and contains very little of what it originally had. Our food supply is a good example. It’s very hard to buy pure bread anymore without getting additives to make it taste better or last longer. If you read the label on most fruit drinks, you’ll find additives to enhance the taste and mask the original contents. This is even true of the metaphor Peter uses. The milk sold in many places today contains additives or is largely devoid of the nutrition it once had before it was pasteurized.
The same is true for our currency. A Kennedy half dollar coin minted between 1964 and 1970 is worth much more than the same coin made later because it contains more silver. We could extend the metaphor to include the more than two trillion-dollar stimulus package our Congress just approved. Most people know or suspect that the net effect will be more money, yet less value. That’s a fitting example for much of what we see in ministry in our day. There’s a lot of it, but there’s not much value, meaning, or truth.
The Apostle Peter points us to what may be one of the only pure things left in our world: The Word of God. He compares the Word to life-giving, life-sustaining milk that comes, not from a neighborhood grocery or a local farmer, but from a mother to her child. The metaphor is simple and still germane today: If we are to grow as children of God, we must regularly be nourished upon the purest form of nutrition, God’s Word.
God’s Word is the most direct form of nourishment for your spiritual health in this world. What I regret most about the artificial world we live in is how it affects the teaching and preaching of Scripture. How pure are the sermons and teachings coming from the Churches in our country? Can we distinguish between an entertaining, engaging sermon and one that is biblical and nourishing?
If we could invent a device that would test the purity of a sermon, what would it tell us about what we’re listening to? The truth is, we do have such a device. We can measure the purity of a sermon, teaching, or devotion. We simply compare it to the original, to the source, to the Scripture itself.
As you go forth today, be careful what you listen to and meditate upon. More and more we are getting less and less of the truth. Peter reminds us that only the pure milk of the Word will allow us to grow up and mature. He gives us a great picture of God’s love for us. He loves us like a mother loves her child and only wants what is best for his or her growth and health. Settle for nothing less than the pure Word!