by Jim Mickells | via The Hickory Heights Messenger
Sylvia and I were watching America’s Funniest Home Videos on night a few years ago, when a teacher asked some of their students a question. There were two young boys, about five or six years old, who were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. One of the little boys thought for a few seconds and then said, ‘I don’t want to grow up.’ This was a very cute and funny video that made us laugh. Yet the more I thought about it the more it made we realize this is an attitude displayed by many Christians. They would not articulate such with words. Yet their actions or lack of is a clear indication it is their desire whether they admit it or not. They do not want to grow up spiritually.
Do you study your Bible? How much time each week do you spend reading and meditating upon what the Lord has said to you in this great book? Paul’s instruction to Timothy was, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine … Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:13, 15). His growth and development as a preacher was to be evident to all the saints with whom he associated. A.T. Robertson said this about the word progress. “It is inspiring to see a young preacher grow for then the church will grow with him” (Word Pictures in the New Testament).
The Psalmist used several expressions in describing the word of God in Psalm 19:8-9. He called it “the law of the Lord” (v 7); “the testimony of the Lord” (v 9); “the judgments of the Lord” (v 9). After his description, he says, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much find gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10). How great is our desire for the word of the Lord? Is it more important to us than material possessions? Is it sweet to the taste? As I love and desire desserts, I should have the same craving for the Scriptures. If I have no such desire, if it is not sweet to me, then am I spending time in trying to know God’s will? Do I really want to grow up?
Do you attend Bible class? If not, is your absence an indication you do not want to grow anymore? Surely you would not contend you already know everything about your Bible, therefore I have no need to attend. It would be wonderful if every local church was filled with people like Cornelius, of whom Luke speaks in Acts 10. The inspired writer says, “So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God” (v 33, emph. mine). Sad to say, but even some who are present have not prepared themselves for the study which is to be engaged in. Paul said, “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). Do you think if all followed the instructions given by the apostle more would attend Bible classes and more would be prepared when they attended? I think so! Want to grow up to be a mature Christian? Why not come to class prepared to study?
Do you attend gospel meetings? Such meetings provide opportunities for members to sit at the feet of men who have studied and prepared lessons which will instruct, encourage, and even rebuke those who will come and listen. When Paul and Barnabas had completed their preaching trip into Asia Minor (Turkey), they returned to Antioch of Syria. The church was gathered and these men of God reported what has happened while they were away preaching. “Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). Do you think the church at Antioch was eager to gather and hear what these two men had to say about the Lord’s work (read also Acts 15:30-31)? They were told of the great things God was doing among the Gentiles. Exciting times! Yet there seems to be a lack of excitement and enthusiasm among the people of God to come together and hear good sound gospel preaching and teaching. Is the problem I do not want to grow up?
Do you want to grow up? Peter said, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). There is a difference between the young boy in the funny video and the Christian who does not want to grow. If that child continued to eat and exercise he will grow up, regardless of his desire. The Christians by their actions or lack of, indicating they do not want to grow, will not grow. They may well die lost, not for lack of food, but because of lack of appetite (Matthew 5:6).