Spiritual Appetite

Jesus says “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they
shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  In Isaiah 55:1-3 the Bible says “Ho, every one that thirsts,
come you to the waters, and he that has no money, come you buy, and eat, yea, come,
buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Wherefore do you spend money for
that which satisfies not?  Hearken diligently to Me, and eat you that which is good, and
let your soul delight itself in fatness.  Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your
soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the pure mercies of
David”.  We are told to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).  Just like we must
feed our physical bodies to stay alive, we must feed our spirits, and we feed our spirits
with the word of God.

Most people eat three times each day, feeding their natural bodies, however, go to
church only 2 or 3 times a week, feeding their spirit man.  Who do you think will be the
strongest?  God made us a 3 part being, spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23).  
Before we were born again, we walked by the dictates of our body and mind (Ephesians
2:2-3).  But now, our spirit man is supposed to rule.  We are supposed to be lead by the
Spirit of God, and the Spirit speaks to our spirit (Romans 8:16).

Spiritual growth involves hearing, learning, and following God.  The people of Israel had
entered into a covenant with God, and Moses commanded them to listen, learn, and
obey His statutes.  Christians also have entered into a covenant with God (through
Jesus Christ) and should be responsive to what God expects.  Moses’ threefold
command to the Israelites is excellent advice for all God’s followers.  Hearing is
absorbing and accepting information for God.  Learning is understanding its meaning
and implications.  Following is putting into action all we have learned and understood.  
The Bible says in Proverbs 4:20-23 “My son, attend to my words, incline your ear to my
sayings.  Let them not depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart.  For
they are life to those that find them, and health to al their flesh.  Keep your heart with all
diligence for out of it are the issue of life”.  All three parts are essential to a growing
relationship with God. II Peter 2:2 says “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the
word, that you may grow thereby”.

Jesus told His disciples “I have meat to eat, that you know not of.  My meat is to do the
will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:32,34). Then in John 6:27-29
“labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting
life, which the Son of man shall give to you, for Him has God the Father sealed.  Then
said they to Him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus
answered and said to them, this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He
has sent”.

Encouraging others is part of our own spiritual growth.  Galatians 6:1-2 says “Brethren, if
a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual restore, such an one in the spirit of
meekness, considering yourself, less you also be tempted.  Bear you one another’s
burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”.

Spiritual growth begins with Christ.  Receiving Christ as Lord of your life is the beginning
of life with Christ.  But you must continue to follow His leadership by being rooted, built
up, and strengthened in the faith.  Christ wants to guide you and help you with your daily
problems.  Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in
obedience to Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were
taught.  Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done (Colossians 2:6-7).  

Spiritual growth is always dependent on our vital connection to God.  Jesus said “I am
the vine, you are the branches, he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth
much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.  If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth
as a branch, and is withered and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they
are burned” (John 15:5-6).  What kind of branch are you?  If you are withering spiritually,
check to see if you are vitally connected to God.  You can life for Christ by (1)
committing your life and submitting your will to Him. (2) seeking to learn from Him, from
His life, and His teachings (Colossians 3:16); and (3) recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power
in you (Galatians 5:22-25).  The Holy Spirit was given to us to guide us (John 16:13), we
have to draw near, listening to the Spirit of God.  James 4:8a says “draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you”.

Paul encourages the Corinthians to grow spiritually (I Corinthians 3:1-3) “and I, brethren,
could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.  I
have fed you with milk, and not with meat, for before you were not able to bear it, neither
yet now are you able.  For you are yet carnal, for whereas there is among you envying,
and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men”?  In Hebrews 5:12-14 the
Bible says “for when for the time you ought to be teachers, you 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.  For every one that uses milk is unskillful
in the word of righteousness for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongs to them that are
of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both
good and evil”.

Spiritual growth continues in-Christ.  Paul uses the illustration of our being rooted in
Christ, just as plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our
life-giving strength from Christ.  In Acts 17:28 the Bible says “for in Him we live, move,
and have our being; as certain also of your poets have said, for we are also His
offspring”.  The more we draw our strength from Him, the less we will be fooled by those
who falsely claim to have life’s answers.  

III John 2 says “beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health,
even as your soul prospers”.  God has provided all things for life and godliness; we have
to strength our spirit man to understand and hear the word of God, for the word of God
is the truth; and Jesus said “if you continue in My word, then are you My disciple indeed.  
And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”.  Galatians 4:1-2 says
“now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though
he be lord of all.  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the
father”.  So let’s build up our spirit man;  Jude said “building yourself up on your most
holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit”  (Jude 20).

Sermon by: Harriet Bond
Date: February 15, 2008
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