“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Mat. 22:37-38)
Everyone seems to be quite familiar with the factsthat “God is love” (I John 4:8) and “God so loved the world” (John ).We enjoy pondering the thought that God loves us, but what about our love for him?How can a love relationship be proper when only one party is expressing love?Can a marriage be right when the wife doesn’t love the husband?No it cannot, and our fellowship with God isn’t right when we only say that we love him, yet there is no evidence of it in our Christian walk. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (I John 3:18)
The sad fact is that most people, Christians included, do not really love God.This can be easily proven by comparing our Christian testimony to a good healthy marriage.If a married couple truly loves one another, then there will be clear evidence of it.The same is true when a person loves God.“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (I Cor. 8:3)
Do You Enjoy God’s Word?
If I really love my wife, I am going to have an open ear for her.I am not going to come in from work and ignore her concerns while pursuing my own interests.If I did so, she would quickly come to realize that I didn’t love her.
The same is true with God.How can one say they love God when they seldom read his words?Jesus said that if you love him you will keep his words (John ).How can you keep them if you don’t read them?In John 8:47, Jesus said, “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”Friend, you spend hours each week absorbing the words of men, but how much time do you spend with the words of God?If you really love someone, you really want to hear what they have to say.
Do You Enjoy God’s Fellowship?
Suppose you came to me and said, “Brother Melton, I think you’re the greatest!Your publications have been such a blessing to me.I love you so much in the Lord, but I hate your wife!”Do you think I’m going to be close friends with you?I think not.
Well, many people claim to love God, but they visit their dentist more often than they attend church services!That’s not much love!The church is the bride of Christ, yetmost professing Christians are more comfortable with worldly unsaved people than with God’s people.The only thingsthey love are themselves and the world.Such people can sit patiently through a television program, a ball game, or even a dirty joke, but they can’t bring themselves to sit through a preaching service with God’s people.
The fact is that you fellowship with those whom you love, be it God or the devil.Who receives your fellowship? “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Cor. 1:9) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” II Cor. 6:14)
Do You Enjoy Praising God?
If a woman really loves her husband, she will praise him and speak well of him.The same is true when a man loves his wife.Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” He praises her because he loves her.It is human nature to praise those whom you love.Even God praises men on occasion because he has a special love for his special servants (Job 1:8; I Cor. 4:5).If you love someone, you will praise them.
Friend, how often do you praise God?How can you say you love God when you seldom praise his holy name?The word “praise” is found 248 times in the Bible, but how many times have you praised God this week?Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Of all the words which have flowed from your lips this past week, how many of them were offered as a sacrifice of praise to God?
If you really love the Lord, you will praise him!You will praise him in the church, in the home, in the work place, in the school, and in the general public.God wants us to praise him “continually,” and if we love him we will.
Do You Enjoy Sacrificing for God?
I love my wife and children, so I do not mind sacrificing for them.I often have to do without the things in life that I would like to have because my family has needs which are more important than my “wants.”I love my family, so I sacrifice for them.
The Bible says that we are to offer up “spiritual sacrifices” to God (I Pet. 2:5).The needs of the ministry are more important than our personal “wants.”A Christian who really loves God will set aside his own will and seek God’s will.Jesus said, “. . . not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) Selfishness has no place in Christianity.It is an enemy of the cross of Christ.Paul said in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”(Rom. 12:1)
So it is unreasonable for a Christian to not give himself to God for Christian service.If you love God, you will sacrifice in order to serve him and please him.You will gladly attend church services, and you will involve yourself in the various ministries of the church.You will tithe and give to missions.Rather than jump to negative conclusions, you will give your brethren in the Lord the benefit of a doubt.You will forgive others who trespass against you, and you won’t hold grudges.When others step forward in self exaltation, you will take the “lower seat” of humility and wait on the Lord.Friend, if you love God, you will bear your cross and follow your Saviour.
Do You Enjoy Thinking of the Lord’s Return?
When you love someone you want to be with them.I become homesick when I have to spend even one night away from my wife and children.If I enjoyed being away from home more than being at home, I wouldn’t love my wife and children.My love for them causes me to think of them when I’m away, and it causes me to look forward to being with them again.
My love for the Lord should be the same.Every Christian should desire to be with the Lord.Every Christian should be “homesick” for heaven and looking for Jesus to return.
Friend, do you know the last prayer of the Bible?It isn’t a prayer for world peace, nor is it a prayer for anyone’s health, or even anyone’s salvation.After being shown all of the breathtaking events of the book of Revelation, the apostle John sent up one final prayer to the Lord: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)
Can you honestly pray like that?Can you honestly say that you want Jesus Christ to return more than anything in this world?If you could have any prayer answered in the next sixty seconds, what would be your petition?Would you express your love for yourself by praying for something selfish, or would you express your love for God by asking Jesus to return?If you love him, you should want to be with him.“. . . Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?” (II Sam. 19:10)
This tract has been written for the edification of Christians, those who know Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour.If you are not sure of your salvation, please send for a free copy of Understanding God’s Salvation Plan at the address below.
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”(I Cor. 3:1-3)
In the above passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul speaks of the Corinthian Christians as being immature babies.Rather than having grown up and matured in the Lord, these Christians were still carnal and selfish babies who were bringing shame to the name of Jesus Christ.
Could this be the case with you, friend?Are YOU a spiritual baby?No doubt, the Corinthians would have denied being immature babies, yet Paul stated that they were.Would he say the same about you?Please examine yourself, Christian, because YOU just might be a spiritual baby.
YOU MIGHT BE A SPIRITUAL BABY IF . . .
You Find Yourself Often Fighting with Other Christians
Babies will fight about anything and everything.Left to themselves, young siblings will slap, pull hair, kick, poke, punch, argue and scream.They haven’t really learned that they aren’t enemies, so they live as though there were.
As a Christian, your enemies are the world, the flesh, and the Devil.Other Christians are NOT your enemies.In the above Scripture, Paul points out envy, strife and division as characteristics of babies!Yet, our churches are filled with Christians who see nothing better to do than fight with other church members.Are you presently “mad” and fighting with another Christian about something?Is the cause of your fight something that Jesus would also fight about?If not, then you are a baby and you need to GROW UP and follow your Lord.
Get out of the playpen and onto the real battlefield.Stop fighting the “goo goo” fight with other Christians and start fighting the GOOD fight for Jesus Christ.
You Enjoy Being the Center of Attention
A baby delights in being the center of attention.If someone else is receiving attention, then a baby will do or say something to put himself in the spotlight.
Many Christians are like this.Rather than wait for their turn (I Pet. 5:6), spiritual babies will speak up, or step out, or act up, or show out in an effort to draw attention to themselves.Paul said, in III John 1:9, “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.”Diotrephes was a spiritual baby, so he misbehaved by rejecting Paul.Paul would have received too much attention, so the spotlight baby turned him away.
Are you such a baby?Do you push for attention, or do you wait upon the Lord?
You Are Shallow in Your Knowledge of the Scriptures
Babies have very little knowledge and understanding, so they will drink poison, eat insects, play in the streets, and even jump into water far over their heads.They have a great lack of knowledge and understanding, so they must rely on others to teach them.
The Bible says in I Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”Just as a baby needs to grow from his mother’s milk, a Christian baby needs to grow from the word of God.If you are rather shallow in your knowledge of the Scriptures, then you are just as shallow about applying the Scriptures to your own life.You can’t possibly be obeying the Bible if you aren’t faithfully reading it.This makes you a spiritual baby.God wants you to GROW UP to be a good soldier for Christ.
You Are Easily Offended
Babies are very sensitive, and their feelings are easily hurt.When things don’t go their way, they will whine, cry, pout, sulk, and even throw tantrums.They haven’t learned to endure affliction, so they only know to be offended when trouble comes.Are YOU such a person?
Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”Friend, the word of God can make you strong and mature.Faith in God’s great promises can give you the strength to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:3).Why be a brownie scout when you can be a trained veteran soldier of Jesus Christ?
You Are Never Satisfied
A baby never ceases to whimper and cry for things.He’s hungry, so you feed him.Then he’s tired, so you give him a nap.He then wakes up with a wet diaper.You change the diaper, then he wants to play.You refuse to play, so he cries.Then he’s hot.Then he’s cold.Then he bumps his head.A baby is just never satisfied.
Many of God’s people are like this.They whimper about everything.The preacher preaches too long.He didn’t shake your hand today.He didn’t smile at you.Sally’s dress is nicer than your dress.George’s wife is prettier than your wife.Doesn’t old Fred know that he’s sitting in your pew?By the way, who authorized that new wall paper?No one consulted your opinion.
Our churches are just filled with this kind of never-ending nagging and murmuring.While the mature Christians are praying, studying, working or winning souls, the murmuring little babies are being used of Satan to hinder and frustrate the real work of the ministry.
The Bible says in Numbers 11:1, “And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD . . .”God is DISPLEASED with your constant murmuring, and He will judge you for it if it doesn’t stop.You, as a born-again child of God, are expected to be CONTENT,THANKFUL and REJOICING in the Lord (Philip. 4:4; ; I Thes. 5:18).Anything less is SIN.
You Have Trouble Staying Clean
A baby simply cannot stay clean.You can give him a bath and powder him real nice, but, if you aren’t careful, he’ll be in a mess before you can drain the bath water.He willplay in the flower pot.He will play in the toilet.He will play in the cat litter.Then he will spill the apple juice all over himself.A baby will not stay clean.
Are you like this?Do you walk a straight and clean path for the Lord Jesus Christ, or do you find yourself playing with sin?Do you peep at the dirty magazines as you walk by the display?What about those steamy “love scenes” on television?Young person, what happened on your date last week?Dad, how many dirty jokes did you laugh at?Mom, how much gossip did you help to spread?
Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” (John 15:3) yet most Christians don’t spend even one tenth of the time reading their Bible that they waste watching television.No wonder you can’t stay clean!You’re a spiritual baby, always defiling yourself with sin.
You Become Jealous Over the Success of Others
A baby only cares about himself.He is totally self-centered, so he always wants what others have.No matter how many toys he has, he will throw a fit if he cannot have another child’s toy.If another child is receiving special attention, then a baby will become jealous and fight to have the attention all for himself.
Spiritual babies are the same.They become jealous when other Christians receive a special blessings.They can’t rejoice with those that rejoice because they are too busy being jealous!Are you jealous because someone sings better than you, or because someone knows the Bible better than you?Are you jealous because the preacher often speaks well of a certain person, but that person isn’t you?Does it bother you that someone is getting married while you are still single?
Christian friend, your eyes should be upon your Saviour, not upon other Christians (Heb. 12:2).
If you find yourself focusing on the affairs of others, then maybe it’s because you are still a babe in Christ and you need to grow up.
There will always be some babies in our churches.The little ones are in the nursery, and the big ones are in the pews, but YOU don’t have to be one of them.Your spiritual growth is your personal responsibility.Your primary goal in life should be to become LIKE Jesus Christ.If you wear His holy name (CHRISTian), then you should live a life that is worthy of His name.
If God has shown you that you are a spiritual baby, then why not confess your sin right now and make a commitment to start growing.Why not put off your spiritual diapers and put on the whole armour of God (Eph.6:10-18)?
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”(II Peter 3:18)
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