My Morning Do . . . Milk of the Word

~~ by tkbrown

1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 (NKJV)

  • 1 — “And I , brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal , as to babes in Christ.”
  • 2 — “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;”

23 September 2020 — While working on posts for the “Greek Words for ‘love’ in the New Testament” series, I have thought much on my Biblical studies through the years. During my younger years, I studied mostly by verse and by topic. When I needed spiritual strengthening, I would search out scriptures on a particular topic and study it. The scripture was indeed food for my soul.

I grew up in a rural area, so our church family was small. When I was fourteen, I began teaching the Sunday night Children’s Class. There were five children in the class, ages five to twelve. We could not afford the purchase cost of lesson materials, so I started with the four Gospels, and we would take a few verses each week. I would write out the lesson sheets for each child.

The lessons consisted of scripture, copied word for word, with blanks to be filled in. During class, we would read the lesson scripture and fill in the blanks. The youngest could not write, but his siblings helped him fill in the blanks on his sheets. I knew from when I was younger, he could remember what we talked about, especially with two siblings who probably talked with mom and dad about what had been studied. During the two years I taught the class, we digested many morsels as they began being introduced to solid spiritual food.

As I have pondered the purpose for my reminiscing, I realized, the study of Greek words for “love” began in my teen years. The minister taught the teen / adult class. We did much the same as I did with the children, except we did not have fill-in-the-blank sheets. We studied directly from the scripture–a few verses a night. It was during my teen years, in these classes where I learned to study more in depth. The minister spoke of the Greek words for “love” occasionally during these classes, as he did for other words when he thought we could benefit from the learning.

I awoke this morning with understanding of why I had been pondering my younger days. I was being shown, during my teen years, how to study as a mature Christian. In order to do this, we begin as babes in Christ needing the “sincere milk of the word,” referenced by Peter in 1 Peter 2:2:

  • “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (King James Version — KJV).
  • “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (New King James Version — NKJV).

The King James Version (KJV) of the New Testament uses the wording, “sincere milk . . .,” whereas, the New King James Version (NKJV) has changed “sincere” to “pure.” Personally, I prefer the “sincere milk . . .” for this thought process. Just as I fed my babies “milk” in their early days in order to aid their healthy growth — especially bone and teeth growth needing much calcium, we as new Christians need the “milk” of the scriptures to form a firm foundation for our Spiritual growth. As we grow, we are introduced to the more mature instruction so we can develop strength in other areas as we also continue consuming the “milk” to aid continued strengthening of the foundation.

As I pondered this, I realized my attention was being brought to the “solid food” aspect of scriptural study. When I prepare an especially savory meal for physical nutrition, I savor every morsel. This savoring is part of the spiritual growth process too. It is necessary, at times, to take a scripture word by word to learn the true meaning behind the original Greek text in the New Testament. It is necessary to chew it slowly, try to discern which spices were added during preparation. What were the other solid foods added to the dish? Our spiritual study must be taken just as slowly at times.

I said all of the above to say this: The series on Greek words used for “love” in the New Testament is a word by word type of study. We are taking each word as a single morsel of solid food and savoring each flavor (meaning) in order to absorb the most nutrition (understanding) from the food. By learning the various words used in the original Greek text, we are sorting through the flavors of Greek nutrition in order to truly understand what the English version says when it only uses one word, “love,” in its translation.

It was necessary for me to step back and explain this before progressing any further with the Greek words for “love” study in order for you, the readers, to understand the importance of knowing the original Greek term. Just as a chef must know exactly which flavors are needed to achieve a certain flavor, it is necessary for us to know what words added to the flavor of the original text. This is what is meant by the apostle Paul’s reference to “solid food” in 1 Corinthians.

I hope this little aside helps you to understand the “why” behind the “what” of what we are doing with this study. This is my prayer! Blessings to all!

My Morning Do . . . “Coffee and Gossip”

~~ by tkbrown

9 September 2020 — Good Morning, I hope you had a Blessed and Peaceful day since our last communication. I was reading a peer blogger’s site this morning and the three words below popped out! So, let’s look at them and see what this is about.

“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “

. . . coffee break
a haiku ~~ by tkbrown

Morning coffee break,
water fountain milieu crowd
gossip and banter.
~~~~~~~~~~

“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “ said a blogging peer, and I knew what the topic of “My Morning Do . . . ” must be. I had already debated whether to write about this and was still unsure. After reading the comment, I knew–Yes, this is today’s topic!

In my haiku, I mention the water fountain, but coffee and gossip can be brought together in most any place and in most any time. The effect and the affect are still the same. Medical science has now shown that coffee is good for the health in some persons–so long as you do not partake of more than four cups per day. (Always check with your doctor before you imbibe.) When I was told to increase from one to two cups a day. I rejoiced because there was a time, I drank much more coffee per day than that, but I had been advised to cut it out completely. I did cease consumption for a few years, but eventually added one cup per day back. The gossip part–I tried not to engage; however, I am human and must enter the guilty plea for occasional infraction.

Today, I would like us to think on gossip a bit. I would like to engage your minds a bit with some questions about gossip and you:

  • Do you enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip?
    • I once thought long and hard on this question. The answer: No, I do not enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip. If they cannot–or will not–say it to me, I believe they should not say it. So, I should not engage in gossip about someone–anyone–else. Jesus said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” Matthew 7:12. Personally, I believe gossip is a form of bullying. Gossip is never of the positive nature; thus it is always harmful to someone.
  • Do you ever engage in idle gossip about others?
    • While it is easy to say a particular negative behavior is never engaged, in all likelihood, it is engaged at some point–simply because we are human. We can never get it right one hundred percent of the time. I try extremely hard not to talk about others if I am not talking to that person. It is exceedingly difficult to maintain. I sometimes do not even realize I am gossiping about someone, then I catch myself–and I am so ashamed. I have prayed and asked God to help me not do this. So, I am sure it is He who shows me what I am doing–so I can learn to stop.
  • Do you believe your gossip has ever been harmful to another?
    • For much of my life, I never thought about this. Although I was never one to talk about others intentionally, I did engage this behavior from time to time. I am sad to say on this day: Looking back, my discussions about others–that I do remember–were never of the positive nature; so, yes, they were harmful to others. Regardless of how innocently we engage the behavior, it harms another because gossip is never in the positive or affirmative realm of discussion.
  • Do you know what God says about “gossip”?
    • Gossip is a topic rarely discussed in church settings. I wonder why. As Christians, it should always be foremost in our mind as a behavior to avoid. It is never pleasing to God.
      • Firstly, it does not please God because it is not what we would want others to do regarding us.
      • Secondly, Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” Thus, any repeat of a transgression to another is harmful. I am separating myself from a friend when I do this. In many instances, the friendship will be no more.

I want to leave you with this thought: If you truly want to act as a Christian, ask yourself–“What would Jesus do?”–and ask God to show you how often you talk “about” others rather than “to” them. You might be surprised! I was!

A few other scriptures for your perusal at your own pace:

  • Proverbs 18:18 — “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 — “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
  • James 1:26 — “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
All scripture above is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

I hope all who are reading have a wonderful and blessed day! Be safe!

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