Journal Heb 5 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture:  About this (possibly about Jesus being the source of eternal salvation and a priest after the order of Melchizedek [Heb 5:8-10]) we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become hard of hearing.

For though by this time, you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic PRINCIPLES of the oracles of God. You need (are wanting, in need of? My best guess, fitting the tenor of the scripture…) milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is UNSKILLED in the word of righteousness (since he is a child). But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:11-14)

Observation: Learning the Word of God is not only about memorization of bumper sticker sayings/quotes, but the Principles, Precepts, Doctrines, etc., involved with understanding the Gospel from before time past the end of days…

Analysis: When it comes to applying effort to the Ways of God or the Works of God, what comes easier?

When I was a younger believer, I read this (the above reference) and saw a challenge in it. It was like the Holy Spirit saying, “You need to go through 1st grade again; no, maybe kindergarten—because you are still unskilled.”

It wasn’t a slap in the face. It was more like coming up wanting before my Lord—he gave me all the tools I needed, but I either misused or flat didn’t use them.

Makes sense (looking back) because the past two generations are not studiers, not readers. Not many of the guys I grew up in Christ with (until about 2000) were interested in the principles, precepts, and doctrine of the Triune God; they were interested in finding a verse here or there to stock up on bullets—verses that would give them a charge to do stuff. I did too. I remember getting a charge out of the Jericho story and started to pray, condemning a local strip joint, to go out of business and turn into a church. Not a bad thing, but even that became a sense of “I am missing something here.”

My conclusion? I needed, wanted, was living on, milk. Repeatedly.

Does “doing stuff for the Kingdom” mean that I am finally out of milk and into meat? Maybe not, at least from my perspective, and I always must wonder.

If I start down that road of thinking “I have arrived…”, then maybe I haven’t and I don’t pursue God like I should.  He calls me to pursue Him, and I should arrange my determination to do just that.

What does having, powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil”, mean? Please note that this is a rhetorical question, something to bring up in private study and meditation or for group discussion.

Am I looking for “evidences of Grace” in my brothers and sisters so that I can be of encouragement (or exhorting as necessary) and participating in keeping them from the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13)? Do I expend my energies looking outward (the harvest) or inward (church health)? What would the percentages look like? Am I training my senses in constant practice to discern good from evil?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Hebrews. Keeps me thinking and striving to hone my senses to a sharp edge.

Humbly, yours…


Ricky Two Shoes