Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 29 : Despise Not Little Ones | Day 201

Feed Little Ones!

After I had received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior as a child, I experienced great excitement and delight as I listened to stories from the Old Testament. The teacher of the Child Evangelism Fellowship(R) class made the heroes of faith "come alive," and I felt like Moses, Abraham, and others became my good friends.

Many teachers tell Bible stories, but I am grateful to have had the privilege of learning from one who not only explained the events that happened but also related each story to Jesus and His work in my life! This dear lady was one of the first individuals in my life who helped me begin to understand the "meat" of God's Word.

The disciples on the road to Emmaus knew the Old Testament stories, but their hearts burned within them when Jesus related each story to Himself.

Jesus told Peter, “[If you love Me] … Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). Lambs, like newborn babies, need the rich nourishment of their mother's milk. Peter explained this concept when he wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2).

After a child has received the nourishment of milk and has grown sufficiently, he is ready to begin taking in solid food. New believers go through a similar phase of growth with regard to God's Word. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14).

How does the Word of God "change" from milk to meat? The Word is the same, but the ability of a believer to understand it is what changes. The more a person reads, studies, and meditates on God's Word, the more discernment he is able to develop and the more he will discover the rich treasures of wisdom and insight that are hidden in Scripture.

As we disciple others by teaching them the commands of Christ, our goal should be to see them reach greater levels of spiritual maturity and discernment. Paul lamented the lack of growth in the lives of some he had taught by saying, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12).

A teacher may need to limit the extent of a message he gives based on the receptivity of the hearers. Jesus told the disciples that there were things they could not bear (see John 16:12), and Paul told the believers in Corinth that he could give them only milk because of their carnality (see I Corinthians 3:2-3).

We will be most effective in giving God's Word to others when we have internalized it for ourselves.

Children usually understand far more than we think they do. Even if they are not able to fully comprehend information in their minds, the Holy Spirit can enable even the youngest believer to grasp spiritual truths that will help him grow in his relationship with God.

Do we take advantage of the opportunities we have to teach the Bible to children so that they may grow to understand the meat of God's Word? Let's recognize the incredible chance we have to impact future generations by discipling the children God has placed in our lives.

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard