No doubt you have heard the saying, you are what you eat. Nothing could have been truer for Violet a character from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She persisted and eventually ate the gum, and she turned into a giant blueberry. Diet seems to be one of those perennial topics. I can remember a time when eggs were good for you, bad for, good for you, just eat the yolk, and now they are good again.

The truth of the matter is we do need a good and wholesome diet. Good food coupled with good habits helps to keep us emotionally and physically well. Although there are many vitamin supplements available (these have their place) there is no satisfactory long term substitute for eating well.  The CSIRO, WHO and other notable health and science agencies have a variety of recommendations concerning what constitutes a healthy diet. Nonetheless, despite the various dietary recommendations, they all agree that diet and lifestyle impact health and well being.

The same can be said for our faith. Faith needs to be fed and nurtured. What do you read? What do you watch? Is there a balance in your spiritual diet?

The writer of Hebrews is concerned for the spiritual health of the community to which the letter is addressed. In chapter 5:12-13 they write, You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right”. It appears they have not maintained a good diet when it comes to matters of their faith. The apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:2-3, Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” The writer to the Hebrews use of milk is different to Peters. In Hebrews it refers to the basic things of the faith, Peter uses it to create an image of a baby thirsting for its mother’s milk and in doing so encourages us to develop a deep thirst for the things of God with the same unquenchable passion as a hungry baby.

Here are four great promises to encourage you to dig deep in and thirst for God’s word through 2019 and beyond. God’s word will revive your soul (Psalm 19:7), God’s word will light your path (Psalm 119:105), God’s word will free you from sin (John 8:31-32) and God’s word will strengthen your faith (Romans 10:27). I encourage you to develop or continue to strengthen your habit of reading scripture.

Pastor Stewart.