1 Peter 2 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence
Why is it that some Christians grow up in their faith considerably over the years, whereas others seem like they’re still only immature professors of Christ? It all has to do with their time spent in God’s Word. In contrast to all the evil, poisonous things mentioned in the first verse of this chapter, Peter recommends only one healthy desire that all Christians should have and continue to grow in. He exhorts the believers in v.2 to “long for the pure spiritual milk.” Just as physical milk is good for the bones and for the body, so spiritual milk is good for the spirit and for the soul.
The immediate context doesn’t make it clear what exactly Peter means by ‘spiritual milk,’ but in two other New Testament epistles the writers use milk in reference to the Word of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 and Hebrews 5:12-13). They seem to use the term in a negative sense, though, in contrast to the meat of God’s Word, with the milk representing the basic teachings of the Bible and the meat representing the deeper truths. In this epistle, however, Peter is recommending the milk of God’s word, positively, to every believer that he or she might continue to grow up into Christ.
Peter doesn’t suggest that we should merely desire God’s Word but that we should crave it, and even cry out for it as a newborn baby cries for physical milk. If we are ever to grow up in our faith, we must be desperate for God’s Word. We can’t come to it half-heartedly; we must come before it eagerly with open mouths, both in the reading and preaching of God’s Word. For it is only as we receive the pure Word of God and not just devotionals written by men like me that we are conformed to the image of Christ and grow in maturity.
Sometimes, we simply get out of the habit and forget how essential it is for our nourishment and health, whereas at other times, a desire for other things crowd out our desire for God’s Word. Certainly, unrepentant sin will keep us away from it. But for some Church members, they seem to never get into the habit of reading God’s Word in the first place. Perhaps, all they need is for someone to read with them and to hold them accountable. Our discipleship groups can certainly help in that regard. And in some cases, it is that they have never acquired a tasted for God’s Holy Word.
Peter points out in v.3 that a believer will grow up on the pure spiritual milk only if he or she has tasted that the Lord is good. It is not simply knowledge about God that is needed, but a tasting of God, which signifies an intimate experiential knowledge of God. In other words, only those who have come to know the Lord through Jesus Christ will crave God’s Word in this way. In fact, if we love Jesus we will love God’s Word, and if we love God’s Word we will love Jesus. But for the one who doesn’t have time for God’s Word or who doesn’t enjoy reading the Bible, his faith in Christ is suspect. Only a growing believer can say as the psalmist did in Psalm 119.103 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth”