Crave The Word
Last time we looked at 1 Peter chapter one and we saw how much God loves us. We saw that in and of yourself we were trapped in sin and the only way out was for God to redeem you by paying the ransom for your sin. The price was great! The only thing that could redeem you was the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
For each of you who have received the Savior Christ Jesus into your life, there should always come from your heart the question of “Lord, how can I show my gratitude?”
Even in our human nature we see this. When a person is rescued by someone, they want to repay that act of kindness in any way they can. It seems the greater the rescue; the more eager one is to show their appreciation.
That is why Peter began with reminding us our need to be redeemed.
We were spiritually dead. If left alone, we had no chance or hope whatsoever. Yet God in His mercy sent Christ to save us. Visible life begins at birth and spiritual life begins at new birth. God purchased you by the blood of His Son so that you too can be a child of God.
What Peter is saying is quite basic—if you are a child of God, your daily living must demonstrate the reality of Christ living in you as you relate to one another in the family of God. Do you want to show God your gratitude for being saved by His marvelous grace? Then follow Peter’s statement and live as God’s family. From Scripture we know there is only one body of believers. What we see from our human perspective is sometimes churches divided and sometimes at war. How can we be unified?
There are things to get rid of in order for family unity.
1. Malice—2:1 It is the desire to inflict pain, harm or injury on anyone.
2. Deceit—putting on a false front. Unfortunately many Christians have mastered being deceptive. The telephone is an amazing instrument. You can have a major family fight going on then the phone rings and in most cases everyone stops yelling and the phone is answered by a very pleasant voice. Then as soon as they hang up it is back to the brawl. This flows directly into the next.
3. Hypocrisy—pretending to be something you are not. This was the chief complaint Jesus used against the Pharisees. They looked good on the outside, but inwardly far from God.
4. Jealousy—always comes from putting self-first and not being content with what God has given. You can see how devastating this is to unity because people are too busy keeping up with each other instead of ministering and building up one another.
5. Slander—to criticize, backbite, gossip, defamation of character. Why do people slander others? It makes them look good and feel important. “Boy, do I have news for you!” In other words, “I’ve got one up on you.”
You can see how interrelated each of these are to one another and how devastating this would be and is to church relationships, let alone a family of believers. Those are all harmful/poison. Peter does not want to leave us with just what we should remove but also what will be the most beneficial to unifying the family of God.
That is feeding upon the Word of God. v. 2 I don’t think I need to tell any of you that it is the intake of the Scriptures into the life of a Christian that is used by God to draw the family of God into a growing, vibrant, unified body.
Peter uses the example of newborn babies to give us the picture of how much we are to desire the Word of God. Newborns act as if their live depends upon the next feeding. When you show a baby a bottle they start kicking their legs moving their hands all in great anticipation.
Crave the milk of the Word. We are saved through the Word and we grow through the same Word. Sometimes children have no appetite because they have been eating the wrong things. The world is filled with junk food that will halt your desire for the Word.
If you stop feeding on the Word, you stop growing spiritually and you start growing worldly. It is the Word of God that feeds the soul, bringing health and spiritual strength. Deprive a Christian of the Word of God and his spiritual life will shrivel and dry up like an unwatered plant.
The result of consuming God’s Word is growth. God desires you to grow. Parents and grandparents desire their children and grandchildren to roll over, walk, talk, etc. They are thrilled when that takes place. God is immensely more thrilled when you are growing in His Word.
Peter adds the idea of tasting. V.3 It’s like licking the beaters after the icing have been mixed. So, too, when you experienced salvation and the love of God and His working in your life, you have tasted the beaters. And it is awesome. And you want more. As you grow in Christ, you see more and more of God in all His fullness and the hunger is to know Him even more.
One of the best means to feed upon the Word and at the same time benefit others comes in the area of the family. I call it family devotions? Over the years at our house we have used baby Bible stories to children’s Bibles, now to a teen devotional book. These have been a blessing to me for what I have learned and I pray also to our family. I would encourage you to give family devotions a try. We need spiritual food just as much as other food, with the same regularity. How wonderful it is to teach our children by example that we hunger for God’s Word.
Remember your attitude. As a baby reaches for the milk you reach for His Word. Remember your appetite. You should long for God’s Word. Howard Hendricks says there are three kinds of Bible students. There are the “castor oil” types. To them the Word is bitter—Yech!—but it’s good for what ails them. Then there is the “shredded wheat” kind. To them Scripture is nourishing but dry. It’s like eating a bail of hay.
But the third kind is what he calls the “strawberries-and-cream” folks. They just can’t get enough of the stuff. How did they acquire that taste? By feasting on the Word. They’ve cultivated what Peter describes here—an insatiable appetite for spiritual truth. Which of these three types are you? 
Let me close by asking are you growing in Christ? Remember, knowing the Bible is not to make you a smarter sinner but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts but to transform your life.
So how about you? How many years have you been a Christian? One, Four? Thirty? The real issue is, how much have you spiritually grown? Step up to Gods growth chart, and measure your progress.
Hendricks, H. G., & Hendricks, W. D. (1999, c1991). Living by the book (electronic ed.). Chicago: Moody Press.