Words of Life ~ Babe(s)

What a blessing it has been since July of last year to be searching the Scriptures for Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

How wonderful that our last word AWAKE is a springboard ~ A to B ~ onto our next word BABE. Let us think of waking from the dead in trespasses and sin to new life as babes in the heavenly kingdom.

There are three different words for babe in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament.

From the Old Testament, we find the babe Moses in a basket in the river (Exodus 2:6), and in the New Testament we see Jesus, the babe in a manger (Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16).

Old Testament
H5288 as in Exodus 2:6 (babeMoses)
A masculine noun na`ar nah’·ar meansa; boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

H5768`owlel ō·lāl’; child, boy
from H5763; a suckling:—babe, (young) child, infant, little one.

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
hast thou ordained strength

because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” 
Psalm 8:2

 Early church history records many amazing instances of the testimony of children for the truth of God, but perhaps more modern instances will be the most interesting.

Fox tells us, in the Book of Martyrs, that when Mr. Lawrence was burnt in Colchester, he was carried to the fire in a chair, because through the cruelty of the Papists, he could not stand upright, several young children came about the fire, and cried as well as they could speak, “Lord, strengthen thy servant, and keep thy promise.” God answered their prayer, for Mr. Lawrence died as firmly and calmly as anyone could wish to breathe his last.

One more instance is still nearer to our time. In a postscript to one of his letters, in which he details his persecution when first preaching in Moorfields, Whitfield says, “I cannot help adding that several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people’s notes–though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., thrown at me–never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck, turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could receive the blows for me.

He who delights in the songs of angels is pleased to honour himself in the eyes of his enemies by the praises of little children. What a contrast between the glory above the heavens, and the mouths of babes and sucklings! yet by both the name of God is made excellent. Spurgeon

Psalm 17:14 speaks of men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and who leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

H8586 ta`aluwl tah·al·ül’; wantonness, caprice, vexation
From H5953; caprice (as a fit coming on), i.e. vexation; concretely a tyrant:—babe, delusion.to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone

In their rebellion, Israel would experience fulfillment of the Lord’s promise,

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babeshall rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4

New Testament
G3516 
nēpios nā’-pē-os; an infant, little child;  a minor, not of age, metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled.

Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when the people are shouting “Hosanna.”

“And (the Pharisees) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babeand sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16

Paul speaks in Romans 2:20 of one who is an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak of immature Christians

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babein Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21

How blessed are those who come in humility to learn of Christ and the things of His kingdom ~ things not revealed to the wise and prudent of this world.  These words Jesus spoke before His invitation, “Come to me.”

G1025 brephos bre’-fos;an unborn child, embryo, a foetus

The same word is used for infants and children, but especially of the unborn child in Luke 1:41 when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped  in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
Luke 1:44

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby:
1 Peter 2:2

Dear Father in heaven, whose glory outshines the brightest star, we thank you. For new Life in Christ that satisfies more than any earthly joy, we praise you. How can we express appreciation for your Word and Spirit that enables us to grow in grace and knowledge of you? Work it in us, I pray. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Fran

Preaching, Teaching, Reaching

Week after week we are blessed to witness of the Lord’s work through the ministers of our church. This gives me much by which to express my thoughts on the Christian life that is beyond what most experience in the world today (Beyond a Mere Christianity).

A mere Christianity may serve some who are independent of the church, but to see how God’s Word leads His minsters to serve Him, we experience the church that He creates. God’s Word teaches us that we are all members of one body, with each one having its special place. Some are leaders, knowing and preaching God’s Word on the Lord’s Day as the center of His worship. From this Word preached, the members are given direction as to how we are to live in faith during the week. We learn how to worship at home personally and with our families, and to prepare for worship on the next Lord’s Day; this all, in preparation for that eternal worship to which we live onward and upward.

 PREACHING

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” Acts 8:4

“But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;” Titus 1:3

 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

Preachers are also pastors to the Lord’s sheep, knowing each family and its members.

“And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:4

TEACHING
But the pastor cannot do all the work. Elders are ministers who teach and serve the members, reaching out beyond what the preacher is able to do.

“And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” Acts 14:23

REACHING
Deacons are also servants of the Lord, knowing and attending to needs of the church.

Families and other members of the body of Christ are taught to reach out, to exhort one another; to love and teach as they are taught.
Everyone prays, interceding for other members of the church.
Before there is a need, a child of God knows their church family and knows where to turn; either to a close member or to a minister of the church.

It is through the body of Christ that He reaches those in need outside the church. When they see the work of Christ in us, He draws others to Him and His church.

THE TRUE CHURCH
This is the true church, growing in grace, knowledge, love and devotion to Christ and His people; knowing the Father, the Son; their presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in everyday life. Jerry and I have experienced this love and relationship with the whole of our church; blessed and praising the Lord everyday for the church family He has given us.

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that as your sheep, we have been brought into your fold under the true Shepherd who leads us in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Thank you for placing us in the care of your under shepherds from whom we receive the truth of your Word. We are taught the doctrines of your grace; to experience heaven opened to us so that we are able to witness of Christ to others, to reach out in love when there is a need, and to praise you together for all that you are and promise to be in and through us ~ to your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, we thank and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Photo:Pixabay