Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.


Going to Jesus

Daily Thoughts

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Thought for the Evening

Two Mothers, Part Two

“These [people] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily [to learn] whether those things were so.”
Acts 17:11

Never be so foolish as to mock what you do not understand.

In Genesis 21, when Sarah’s son Isaac was weaned from his mother, Abraham made a feast to celebrate the occasion. His little boy Isaac was finally able to eat meat, and strength and manhood were in his future because he had out-grown his mother’s milk. It was a wonderful time, and everybody was invited. Hagar’s son Ishmael, however, was envious of the attention that little Isaac was receiving, and Sarah was outraged when she caught Ishmael cruelly teasing her little Isaac. She immediately went to Abraham and demanded that he cast Ishmael out with Hagar his mother. The thought of doing this grieved Abraham, but when he took his burden to the Lord, God told him to do as Sarah had demanded.

As Paul said in his letter to the Galatian saints, Sarah and Hagar represent two irreconcilable distinct spiritual conditions within God’s household.

The spiritual children of Hagar in God’s family still grow envious of the feast that our Father makes for those who are “weaned from the milk of the Word” and who have begun to grow into the weightier knowledge of God. Hagar’s spiritual descendants are both envious and foolish. They mock the truth spoken by those who grow beyond the milk of the Word and begin to consume the real meat of God’s kingdom. “Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman’” (Gal. 4:30).

If you are one of Sarah’s children, continue to patiently drink the milk that Sarah offers to you, and you will continue to grow in Christ. The time will come when you will feel hunger pains for a weightier form of nourishment, and when that happens, your heavenly Father will rejoice. This is what He desires for all of His children. He has food for you that you have never tasted and that you cannot now imagine, and He is eager for you to be able to digest it. “Fear not”, Jesus told his disciples, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” So, it is not a matter of whether the food is there; it is only a matter of when we are ready to eat it.

In the meantime, do not be so foolish as to mock any doctrine until you have searched out the matter. Peter described such people as behaving like “natural, brute beasts . . . [who] speak evil of things they understand not” (2Pet. 2:12). On the opposite end of the spectrum was the community of Jews living in the ancient town of Berea. They were wise enough to know better than to mock Paul’s doctrine until they had searched the Scriptures to see if the things he told them were true. God called them “noble” because of this (Acts 17:11). They proved that they were not Hagar’s children. Paul had outgrown milk and was feasting with the Father on heavenly, holy meat that the Bereans did not quite understand. Still, they did not mock Paul or his doctrine as many others had done. At the same time, they did not eat with Paul at the Lord’s table. Instead, since they were unsure of what he was preaching, they waited, and searched the Scriptures, and asked the Father if the food that Paul was offering to them was clean in His sight.

In the end, these prudent people found themselves able to digest Paul’s doctrine, and they soon were feasting with him on the holy things of the marvelous kingdom of God. May God help us to follow their wise example.

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