Have you ever read the Bible in its entirety? A few years ago, I found myself longing to accomplish this very feat. I agreed to join a community of Christians for a ‘Bible-in-One-Year’ reading plan. Each day from January 1 to December 31, I proudly checked off the box next to the date acknowledging that I had read the planned scriptures. I eagerly awaited the day I could say, “I read the whole Bible, how about you?” Sounds a bit flattering, doesn’t it? And if I’m honest, there was a part of me that felt rather ‘superior.’ Yes, I read the entire Bible; but, I found that reading the bible was very different from knowing the Bible.
This Thursday for teaching and worship, we are studying the fifth chapter of the book of Hebrews. As I began to prepare for the lesson, I found myself questioning who and what the author was referencing in the text. Melchizedek? Baby’s Milk? High Priests? I thought, how could I have read the whole Bible but not recall the key theme throughout Hebrews nor understand its profound purpose?! As I continued to work my way through the lesson, I found myself tirelessly cross referencing scriptures between the old and new testaments until eventually, God shed His light and His truth.
“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.” ~Hebrews 5:12
Here is what I learned. I was acting immaturely in my belief that simply reading the Bible in a year gave me access to knowing the Bible for a lifetime. Hebrews 5:12 reminded me that I must practice God’s Word and continuously apply His basic principles to my everyday circumstances to truly benefit from His love and superiority as THE great High Priest.
Friends, this is a critical part of our journey. For us to continue growing from infant Christians to mature Christians, we must increase our ability to feast on God’s deeper knowledge, to listen for His voice, and to proceed in obedience. The book of Hebrews refers to this as “solid food,” a far cry from “baby’s milk.”
I want more solid food and less baby’s milk, how about you? And now I realize that my spiritual growth is key to my success. As we draw closer to the Lord and put into practice what we learn, our capacity to understand Him, to discern right from wrong and to resist temptation also grows! We are called to step out of our comfort zones and embrace the next step along the way; a spiritual bread trail if you will.
Joanne refers to the opening scriptures of this week’s lesson as the Mount Everest of the book of Hebrews. Here, we reach a pivotal point on our journey as we witness both Christ’s divine appointment and His humanity. We learn how to pray like Jesus and how to be inspired by His obedience during times of trial. Join me this Thursday as we get to know Melchizedek, one of the most mysterious men of the Bible; Aaron, Moses’ mouthpiece and first High Priest of Israel; and Jesus, the great High Priest, a man who is morally flawless and eternally available for all people.
Hope to see you then!