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Longing for the Word

"Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" (1 Pet. 2:2).

Scripture is our source of spiritual growth.

A newborn baby was abandoned in a pile of trash in a city alley. The mother had obviously left it there to die. The infant was near death when someone heard its faint cry and summoned medical help. The child survived, but not until it had received the attention and nourishment it needed.

That situation has a spiritual parallel, which Peter used to illustrate the believer's dependence on God's Word. If a baby is deprived of nourishment, it will soon die. Similarly, if a Christian doesn't feed on the Word, he or she will languish spiritually and become ineffective for the Lord. On the positive side, a believer should long for God's Word as intently as a newborn baby longs for its mother's milk.

Scripture draws on the parent/child metaphor in other ways, referring to Christians as being born again (John 3:7; 1 Pet. 1:3), children of God (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:1), and adopted sons (Rom. 8:14; Eph. 1:5). Just as it is natural for biological children to grow and mature, Christians also have the capacity for spiritual growth. In fact, we're commanded to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18).

The Word of God is the mainstay of your spiritual diet. It's your primary source of nourishment. Paul said, "As you . . . have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed" (Col. 2:6-7). "Your faith" in that context refers to the content of Christianity—the doctrines of Scripture. As your knowledge and application of biblical principles increases, you will become more and more grounded in truth and steadfast in Christ.

Suggestions for Prayer

If you've lost your appetite for God's Word, it may be because of sin (1 Pet. 2:1). If so, ask God to cleanse your heart and give you a renewed longing for His truth. Then commit yourself to daily time in the Word.

For Further Study

Read Acts 20:32 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13, noting the effect Scripture has on believers.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,