Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Lesson From Grandma's Kitchen

I Peter 2:2(NIV)
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
Hebrews 5:12NIV)
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
Hebrews 6:1(NIV)
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

As children, my siblings and I delighted in our grandmother's cat, who was occasionally called "Fertile Myrtle" by the adults in our family.   It was a well-earned nickname.   The seemingly endless litters of kittens couldn't be given away until they were weaned from their mother's milk, and Grandma indulged us in helping them drink milk from saucers.   I don't know about the rest of my siblings, but I know I was guilty of impatiently pushing their little faces into a saucer to encourage them along. 

Are the trials in my life a way for God to wean me off of the spiritual milk and onto meatier offerings?  Yes, spiritual milk is entirely appropriate for those new in their salvation, but decades later it's not quite right for me to be still hanging around the milk bar.  Fertile Myrtle's kittens were highly desirable and always found a home somewhere in our rural community, where good mousers were needed.    Perhaps God wants me out where I can justify being a part of His kingdom through acceptable service?         
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and Christian martyr, wrote about "cheap grace" and "costly grace" in his book, The Cost of Discipleship.
"cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."
"costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." "

Heavenly Father, Help me to gladly embrace costly grace, and forgive my rebellious spirit so I may submit to your Son's yoke.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin

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