Verse 2 says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”
Anyone who has been around a newborn baby knows they crave milk and will let you know when they want more! John MacArthur (MacArthur Daily Bible) says, “Spiritual growth is always marked by a craving for and a delight in God’s Word.”
A baby who had no appetite for milk and refused to eat would soon be malnourished, even sick and we can’t grow spiritually without a steady intake of God’s Word. Neither will we grow in the quality of our relationship with God without getting to know Him, His attributes, His promises, and learning to recognize His voice.
Do you “delight” in God’s Word? Do you crave it like a baby craves milk? If not, pray and ask God to give you a hunger for His Word.
Peter was writing to believers who were suffering intense persecution in a very ungodly society! He was teaching them how to respond to persecution, mistreatment and the ungodliness of others.
He didn’t say, “Get mad, gossip, or rebel.” Neither did he say, “Act like everyone else” or “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Instead he said in chapter 2:
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man …
While most of us learned in grammar school that the American Thanksgiving tradition started during colonial times, you may not know that it wasn’t until 1863 that President Lincoln proclaimed it an official holiday.
When I reread his proclamation, I couldn’t help thinking how appropriate much of it is for our nation again today.
I hope you’ll take the time to read it and remember that it wasn’t in a trouble free time that the people were called upon to give thanks to God. It was in the middle of the Civil War with all the accompanying heartache and cost.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President. Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
Today, our military men and women and their families still suffer hardship and loss. And while the war between the states has long been over, our nation is still divided in many ways.
Perhaps today, instead of arguing over politics or football, we need to, once again, first focus on genuine “thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” and “with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care” all those who have been affected and “implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron. 7.14)
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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.
Bad company corrupts good morals. That is true of friends, advisers, co-workers, business partners, spouses, and anyone else with whom we spend a great deal of time. It’s true in our personal lives, in our work lives, and Proverbs tells us, even in politics.
“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.”
The king represented their system of government. Romans tells us “bad company corrupts good morals.” That is true in politics, as well as, in our personal lives. Let’s pray that our president-elect, politicians and other leaders would surround themselves with godly counselors.
But we also need to be wise in our personal choices of friends and associates.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6.14).
We can’t always choose our co-workers, but we can be wise about how much time we spend with them during breaks and after work. We can be careful not to listen to gossip, complaining or advise from those who are ungodly.
If we’re already married to an unbeliever we need to fill our hearts and minds with God’s truth and seek to love them biblically while continuing to be salt and light. If we’re single we should only date someone who would be a godly spouse.
We need to choose our friends wisely. It’s not that we should never spend time with unbelievers, but our closest friends should be those who love God and will speak truth into our lives not tell us what we want to hear all the time. Continue reading →