Worship, Sunday, June 9, 2024
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Make Me A Servant
  • I Lift My Eyes Up
  • Here I Am , Lord
  • I Surrender All
      • Hebrews 5.11MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 5.12-13MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 5.14MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.1-2MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.3-5MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.6-7MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.8-9MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.10-11MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 6.12MESSAGE

  • I love that translation. Especially verse 1 of chapter 6, but we’ll get back to that.
    As I was making my way through Hebrews planning this series this particular passage stood out to me because of a song I’d heard over 40 years ago. That means this is sort of like someone when I was in High School referring to a song by Benny Goodman, or Glen Miller. I’m going to do it anyway, so you can mark me as officially…old.
    The song was recorded by Amy Grant in 1982, it’s called, Fat Baby, and inspired the title of today’s sermon. Here are the lyrics:
    I know a man, maybe you know him, too You never can tell; he might even be you He knelt at the altar, and that was the end He's saved, and that's all that matters to him His spiritual tummy, it can't take too much One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best And gives his language a spiritual rest
    He's just a fat little baby! Wa, wa, waaaaa... He wants his bottle, and he don't mean maybe He sampled solid foods once or twice But he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice
    He's been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud He knows the books of the Bible and John 3:16 He's got the biggest King James you've ever seen! I've always wondered if he'll grow up someday He's momma's boy, and he likes it that way If you happen to see him, tell him I said, "He'll never grow, if he never gets fed" He's just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat... Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fa-at, Fat... Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fatttt... Baby...
    Here at Mission Woods we define ourselves as a Growing place.
    Mission Woods Church A Growing Place Growing closer: to God, to each other, to our community.
    By that self identification we must constantly be asking the question. Are you growing?
    Are you growing in your faith? Are you growing in your relationship with God? With each other? with our community? If not, why not? What’s stopping you?
    Today, we’re specifically looking at growing in our faith - relationship with God.
    The author of Hebrews writes: He 5:12
    Hebrews 5:12 ESV
    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
    He goes on: Heb 5:13-14
    Hebrews 5:13–14 ESV
    for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
    In the translation we read this morning, Eugene Peterson put these verses this way:
    Hebrews 5:13–14 MSG
    Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.
    I shared this with our Bible study groups this week. If you were to offer a class on “the Basics of Christianity” it will be packed, and one of the most disheartening things as a pastor is that many of those who will be in the class are your elders and deacons - those who are supposed to be mature in their faith.
    The author of Hebrews reminds us He 5:12
    Hebrews 5:12 MSG
    By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago!
    I want to spend some time on the difference between milk and solid food. As the song I began with said, “he sampled solid foods once or twice, but he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice.”
    What is the author meaning by solid food, or as some describe it as meat. Now, we may have some vegans out there, and this may lower my position in their thinking, but I enjoy a really good steak. Seared on the outside sealing in all the juices, and flavors, hot off the grill oozing with flavor. You can smell the flavor, you taste it and you can’t just pop it in your mouth and swallow. No, you cut off a bite and inevitably, if you’re like me, it’s bigger than you thought. It takes time to chew, and as you chew it you roll it around and round in your mouth chewing out every bit of flavor. As you chew your salivary ducts inject saliva into your mouth aiding with the breakdown of the meat. The continuous chewing breaks the piece into smaller and smaller pieces as your molars grind the slice into a swallowable mass.
    Moving down your esophagus the meat passes from your mouth to your stomach where the acids now go to work on this one bite (anticipating more to come). Your stomach works on the meat for a while and then passes the food onto your small intestine, then your large intestine and out of the body, extracting nutrients all along the way to feed every cell in your body. It’s a complex process. And the result is, it becomes a part of you.
    Milk is more complex than you might think, taking up to 12 hours to be processed by your body’s digestive system. But meat can take up to two days.
    If I were to drink an 8oz glass of milk, it doesn’t take much time at all. If I’m going to eat an 8oz steak, you probably ought to give me some time. It’s a much more involved process - the same is true with our study of Scripture.
    In our culture we’ve been somewhat stunted by the creation of “devotional” books. Now don’t get me wrong, they have a place just as a glass of milk does. But they’re not meat. Typically your devotional book will have one or two verses, and then a paragraph or two or sometimes three about what the author thinks about those verses. For the reader, it’s a secondary understanding of the Scripture.
    As your pastor, as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, one of the highlights for me is when someone comes to me and says something like, “I was reading my Bible…” Wooo! I’m already excited.
    “I was reading my Bible and it says _____________.” Aw, man, now you’ve got my juices flowing!
    “I was reading my Bible and it says _______________. And I’m not sure I understand what that means.” Wow! Good for you, you’re wrestling with the Word, you’re digging, you’re working, you’re biting, you’re chewing, you’re seeking to digest it and make it a part of you.
    Many of you have asked me such questions, and I love it! And many of you have no doubt not initially like my immediate response of “What do you think that means?”
    Doh! Darn! More chewing. Then together we work on the passage. That’s what we’re to be doing. We need to move beyond being spoon fed God’s Word to digging into it.
    Have you ever watched a child dig in the yard? It gets messy.
    Think about when you’re working on a project. You’re cooking a meal, writing a paper, organizing your desk, … it gets messy.
    Hopefully, you don’t leave it in that mess. Hopefully, perhaps ever so slowly things begin to get put in their place. And as you finish one meal, finish one paper, get your desk organized,…you are able to move on to what’s next.
    Eugene Peterson in his translation of the Bible the message puts it this way, He 6:1
    Hebrews 6:1–3 (MSG)
    So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God;
    baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it!
    We ought to be growing, building, increasing our faith and understanding of God, the Scriptures, salvation, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
    My hope each Sunday is that you may gain one little bit, something that challenges you, that makes you think, that encourages you and spurs you on in your faith.
    So, let me ask the question - Are you growing? Are you simply rehashing the fundamental truths, or are you digging.
    Recently we did another fly-over of the Bible reading from cover to cover in 90 days. It was intense, and during that process I had person after person after person come to me and say, I’m seeing things I never saw before.
    When I’ve suggested this 90 day read through with congregations I get push back every time. “I’ve already read it.” Recently my comeback has been, “I read The Boys in the Boat” three times and every time I saw something I hadn’t seen before. Folks, I guarantee you the Bible is a far more in-depth book. There is a richness there that has kept the minds of women and men digging for two millennia and more.
    When the author of Hebrews wrote these words, we need to remember the New Testament did not exist yet. The author of Hebrews is reminding his readers of how Jesus fulfills all that was written in what we call the Old Testament they referred to as the TaNaKh - the Law, the Prophets and the Writings.
    It’s also worth noting that the author of Hebrews begins what we call chapter 6 with another Therefore!
    Hebrews 6:1 (ESV)
    THEREFORE let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
    Remember the author is building an argument of the supremacy of Christ and that our focus should be on exalting our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
    When I was leading in youth ministries and serving at camps, often at the end of the week we would invite the students to make a first time commitment to seeking to follow the Lord. Inevitably you would often see the same kids year after year “give their lives to Christ” for the first time. They genuinely believed they were giving their life for the first time, but they’d done so the year before and the year before that.
    In talking with them when reminded of the fact they’d stepped up the year before, they would say something like, “I didn’t feel like I really did it then, it wasn’t fully, it wasn’t authentic.” What they were saying is they wanted to take another step forward in their faith. So recognizing that we created a different type of “altar call” inviting people to give their life to Christ and to take a step with Christ. They were distinct, but it allowed for people to make that public assertion of wanting to step forward in their faith.
    I want to encourage you to take steps in your faith. Get into the Word, chew on it, mull it over, digest it, let it become a part of you. And take other steps as well, do what it says. Pray, study, give generously, feed the poor, give drink to the thirsty, care for the sick, visit the prisoner, give people second chances. Pour your lives into others, and not for your own glorification, but to the Glory of God.
    Today, we are going to be ordaining and installing individuals from among our congregation who are taking a step in their faith. They are making a commitment before you that they will seek to live as Christ leads them, to serve you as Christ leads them, to lead you as Christ leads them, and to represent you as Christ leads them.
    Not only are they reaffirming their faith and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ, but they are committing themselves before God and you as witnesses to serve Him as they serve you to the Glory of God.
    My hope for all of you is that you will pray for them, and encourage them, as you have and continue to do for me. All to the glory of God. AMEN.
    Let me pray for you.
      • Hebrews 5:12MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 5:13–14MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 5:13–14MESSAGE

      • Hebrews 5:12MESSAGE

  • We Are An Offering
  • Freely Freely
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