"Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord." (1 Peter 2:1-3)Our journey into the Kingdom of God starts with our introduction into the goodness and kindness of God. In coming to Christ we come to experience His love, forgiveness, and adoption. We also get a taste of " the good word of God and the powers of the age to come." (Hebrews 6:5) While such kindness draws us to Him it should also motivate us to action. "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4) Much of our Christian walk is the laying aside of somethings that we might pick up others. We cannot become mature men and women of God without first becoming as innocent as babes through the cleansing of our souls of all passions that wage war against us and against the kingdom of God. This is our responsibility; God has freed us from sin and given us power to live a holy life and it is now our turn to chose such a life for ourselves. Having made the choice, and having left behind the passions of the soul, we ought to desire the pure milk of His word that we might grow in all things pertaining to salvation. However, such milk is to be found only in Him and His Kingdom. It is His kingdom that is "a land flowing with milk and honey." (Exodus 3:8) and it is only in Him that we can "buy wine and milk without money and without cost." (Isaiah 55:1).
"And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 2:4)When counting the cost of a life lived for God, we must be willing to accept a life that may put us at odds with the world around us. There will be those who ridicule you and reject you; even old friends will be "surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you." (1 Peter 4:4) The Christian walk is not a walk for people who want to be popular and loved by all, but one where we will certainly face persecution from others, and sometimes even from those of our own family. "A man's enemies are the men of his own household." (Micah 7:6) However, this is the life that Jesus chose; He was not loved by all and was rejected and killed by others, yet He was loved by God. This is the same life He has called us to live, a life lived not based on what others think about us but a life lived based on what God thinks about us. "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come." (Hebrews 13:12-14)
"you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)While we will certainly experience the rejection and ridicule of some, we are, however, being built into a spiritual house with other believers, a house that is filled with Him; a house where it is not all about us, but all about Him. In this house, built together with other believers, we offer Him service in our worship and in our prayers for the world. God is looking to fill a house just like He did with the tabernacles that Moses built, "the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar." (Leviticus 9:23-24) and just like He did with the temple that Solomon build, "fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house." (2 Chronicles 7:1) and just like He did on the day of Pentecost, "And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance." (Acts 2:3-4) Today, we are that tabernacle and that temple that God wants to fill with His glory. However, He wants a house that can contain the glory He desires to pour out. Such a house requires that we be built together as brothers and sisters in Christ; built together relationally and functionally and parts of a greater whole. Only then will His house be able to contain Him who fills all in all.