NEWSLETTER

September 2014

CRAVING GOD'S WORD


 
1 Peter 2:1-4

Craving the Word is a command. You must know that it is, but how many of us obey this command? I think it is a humbling command because none us have what it takes within us to crave the Word like a baby insatiably
demands his mother’s milk.

Where then does the power to obey this command come? It is from the fiery passion of the Spirit for His own Word. According to 1 Peter 2:1-4, we cannot experience this craving unless at least the following three things are occurring within our souls at the same time while we are in His word:

1) We are clean; in other words, the Spirit is not grieving over our sin.

2) We want to taste the kindness of Christ because we are genuinely saved. Only the saved have tasted Christ’s kindness and hunger for more of Him through a rich intake of Scripture.

3) We are hungry for God’s Word because we want to see nourishment in the Scriptures as a means to rich communion with Jesus Christ.

1. Are You Clean When In His Word? 1 Peter 1:1-2

Peter is emphatic in v.1. Using a metaphor of putting away filthy garments, he commands us to rid ourselves of anything that might displease the Lord. The word “all” in v.1 modifies each of the sinful things listed: all “malice”, all “deceit”, all “hypocrisy”, all “envy”, and all “slander”.

In the original language, the Apostle is describing action in v. 1 that pre-cedes the longing/craving for the Word described in v. 2. We must first be cleansed of these sinful things before we will crave Scripture. Obviously, we are to receive ongoing cleansing as needed throughout our time in the Word. But the emphasis is clear. If we want to crave the Word, the Spirit must thoroughly cleanse us first. We are given the same instruction in James 1:21 – before we “in humility receive the Word implanted”, we must put aside “all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness”.

The reason for this prior action is not difficult to understand. God is infinitely holy. He is the essence of what it means to be personal. He is supremely intimate with His children. Our craving for Scripture is not natural. Hunger for the Word comes from the Holy Spirit. Certainly we cannot anticipate the Spirit’s driving hunger for His Word if we are grieving Him. To quote Joni Eareckson Tada, “we must be on a search and destroy mission to
uproot every sin, small and great, lurking in our hearts”. Without this search and destroy mentality, it is doubtful we will crave the Word of God.

2. Do You Want To Taste More Of The Lord’s Kindness When You Are In His Word? 1 Peter 2:3

Peter describes salvation in v.3 with the winsome phrase “if you have tasted the
kindness of the Lord”. He is setting forth a second precondition to craving the Word.
In other words, an insatiable appetite for Scripture is something that only genuine
believers can have. Unbelievers do not have the Spirit, Jude 19. As a result, they do not possess the fiery passion of the Spirit for spiritual growth. He is the One who
unleashes within the soul the internal cravings for God’s Word.

But at salvation, we received His Spirit and the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:12, 15-16. Our hearts then become God’s dwelling place. The taste of the Lord’s own kindness within the soul is a soothing balm of eternal life for our souls so easily troubled by sin and/or this evil and difficult world. This disclosure of unconditional kindness from Christ
Himself astounds and delights the believer.

Because we are partakes of this “taste”, the Lord becomes our driving preoccupation in life. The more we taste of Him, the larger our spiritual appetite for His Word be-comes. Christ is to be our great ambition, our grand compulsion, and, like David, we are able to declare, “Because your lovingkindness is better than life”, my lips will praise you.” Ps 63:3. Thus the greater our desire is to experience God’s kindness, the greater our appetite to crave His Word.

3. Are You Coming To Christ When You Are In His Word? 1 Peter 2:4

Peter is drawing an inseparable parallel between craving the Word, and coming to Christ in v. 4. Much of our lack of hunger for Scripture may be because our expectations for our “devotional times” are too low. Do not settle for anything less than the fresh experience of Christ’s loving-kindness when you come to Him in His Word.

What is our motivation when coming to the Word? If it is mere duty or the acquisition of Bible knowledge as an end in and of itself, we will likely not tap into the fervent
craving the Spirit unleashes within our souls as we approach God’s Word. The Spirit is jealous to reveal Christ to us in our inner persons.

Thus, to tap the passion to crave, which the Holy Spirit Himself alone produces, we must come to our quiet times wanting and expecting to know and experience our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Spirit’s primary agenda. If we want to crave, we need to get on His page, so to speak. We must desire to partake of Christ when we feed on His Word if we are to tap into the Spirit’s craving for His Word.

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Pastor Blain


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427