Hebrews 5:13, 14 - The Discerning Spirit and Insight.

Hebrews 5:13, 14 (NKJV) For everyone who 
partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of 
righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to 
those who are of full age, that is, those who by 
reason of use have their senses exercised to 
discern both good and evil. 

Hebrews 5:13, 14 (AMP) For everyone who 
continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced 
and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness 
(of conformity to the divine will in purpose, 
thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not 
able to talk yet]! But solid food is for 
full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental 
faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and 
distinguish between what is morally good and noble and 
what is evil and contrary either to divine or 
human law. 

Hebrews 5:13, 14 (TLB) And when a person is 
still living on milk it shows he isnt very far 
along in the Christian life, and doesnt know 
much about the difference between right and 
wrong. He is still a baby Christian! You will never 
be able to eat solid spiritual food and 
understand the deeper things of Gods Word until you 
become better Christians and learn right from wrong 
by practicing doing right. 


   In a world filled with endless sources of 
information and opinions, believers need to develop a 
discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is 
true? Much of what we see and hear is based on a 
worldly perspective that is influenced by Satan, the 
Father of Lies. Deception is found even in the 
religious realm: cults mix lies with enough truth to 
make some people consider them legitimate 
Christian institutions. 
   The only way believers can guard against 
deception is to ground themselves in God's Word. The 
more time you spend filling your mind with the 
Lord's thoughts, the more discerning you will be. 
However, just knowing biblical truth isn't enough. 
You must put what you learn into practice so 
that it becomes more than head knowledge. 
   The goal is to let God's Word become such 
an integral part of your thinking that it 
guides all your decisions. Even if the situation 
you're facing isn't specifically addressed in the 
Bible, scriptural principles provide the needed 
wisdom for every choice. In addition, the Holy 
Spirit was given to each believer as a Helper, 
whose job is to guide you into all the truth (John 
14:26; 16:13). However, your responsibility is to 
put God's Word into your mind so that He can 
bring it to your remembrance. If you neglect the 
Word, you'll lack discernment. 
   What are you allowing into your mind? Is 
Scripture high in your priorities? Unless you're 
careful, worldly thinking will overpower spiritual 
discernment. It's difficult to keep God's perspective in 
the forefront if you spend two or three hours in 
front of the television and only ten minutes in 
the Bible. [In Touch Daily Devotional by Charles 
Stanley at www.intouch.org] 


   Are you ready for a surprise? You blink 
twenty-five times every minute. Each blink takes you 
about one-fifth of a second. Therefore, if you 
take a ten-hour automobile trip, averaging forty 
miles per hour, you will drive twenty miles with 
your eyes closed. 
   I know a fact far more surprising than 
that. Some people go through life with their eyes 
closed. They look but don't really "see"  they 
observe the surface but omit the underneath  they 
focus on images but not issues  vision is 
present but perception is absent. If life were a 
painting, they would see colors but no genius in the 
strokes of the brush. If it were a journey, they 
would notice a road but no majestic, awesome 
scenery. If it were a meal, they would eat and drink 
but overlook the exquisite beauty of the china 
and the delicate touch of wine in the sauce. If 
it were a poem, they would read print on the 
page but miss altogether the passion of the poet. 
Remove insight and you suddenly reduce life to 
existence with frequent flashes of boredom and 
   Those without insight dwell mainly in the 
realm of the obvious  the expected  the 
essentials. The dimensions that interest them are length 
and width, not depth. Please understand, I do 
not mean to be critical of those who cannot go 
deeper  but of those who can but will not. I'm 
not pointing my finger at inability but rather 
   As a concrete illustration, take the 
boatload of disciples in Mark, chapter 6. Immediately 
after Jesus had miraculously fed thousands of 
people with a few loaves and fish, He sent His men 
away in a boat as He slipped off to a quiet place 
on the mountain to pray. A storm later broke 
upon the sea and they were filled with panic. He 
came to their rescue shortly thereafter and 
calmed the sea as He stilled the wind and assured 
them there was no reason to be afraid. Mark makes 
a comment worth remembering: 
   They were utterly astonished, for they 
had not gained any insight from the incident of 
the loaves, but their heart was hardened. (Mark 
   It wasn't that they were unable to 
understand. They didn't want to understand! William 
Barclay of Glasgow says, "Their minds were obtuse." 
That was the root problem. Those men were 
insensitive, dull, blunt-brained. They weren't 
ding-a-lings by nature, but by choice - and therein 
rested not the tragedy but the blame! They didn't 
need Jesus's pity as much as they deserved a 
rebuke. By then they had been sufficiently exposed 
to their miracle-working Master to respond with 
keen insight to their circumstances. Had they 
applied what they observed earlier that day when the 
thousands were fed, their response to the storm would 
have been insightful. 
   Hebrews 5 is addressed to similar 
disciples today. Hours upon hours have been logged 
under the teaching of the Word, and opportunities 
to use those truths have been legion. But what 
does this passage say? It says some have become 
"dull of hearing" - thick, lazy, sluggish, lacking 
insight. Maturity - the result of mixing insight with 
practice - is rare today  and so the discernment 
between good and evil, brought on by "trained 
senses," is frequently conspicuous by its absence. 
   What are a few practical rewards? Parents 
with insight usually raise kids that are secure, 
fulfilled, relaxed, free to forge out ideas and to 
think. Single adults with insight won't feel they 
must marry - the sooner the better. Teachers with 
insight create an atmosphere conducive to learning. 
Bosses with insight develop employees and remain 
sensitive to surrounding needs. Students with insight 
learn far more than the required subject - they 
indeed glean an education. 
   I challenge you: Open your eyes! Think! 
Apply! Dig! Listen! There's a lot of difference 
between necessary blinking and unnecessary 
blindness. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.] 


Hot Dog Faith
   Who doesn't love hot dogs? Sure, some 
people shy away from this frankly popular frank. 
But most Americans love to eat hot dogs - lots 
of them.  
   During just the Fourth of July holiday, 
Americans consume 150 million frankfurters! If you put 
that many hot dogs in a line, they would stretch 
around the world from New York City to Sydney, 
   But have you ever looked at the 
ingredients in an inexpensive hot dog? The first 
ingredient is almost always mechanically separated 
turkey or chicken. But what is that? According to 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it's 
a "paste-like and batter-like poultry product 
produced by forcing bones, with attached edible 
tissue, through a sieve or similar device under high 
pressure." Yum. Most hot dogs contain pork, which the 
USDA says can be any "meat" removed from the bone 
by "advanced meat recovery machinery." Other 
ingredients include water, corn syrup, beef, salt, 
sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium 
nitrate, and maltodextrin. 
   Does your mouth water thinking of those 
ingredients? Probably not. 
   Sadly, for the last fifty years, people 
have been building their religious beliefs like a 
cheap hot dog. Instead of following God's Word and 
fundamental Christianity, they fuse together their own 
beliefs by grabbing a little of this philosophy, a 
bit of another idea, and a smidgen of some other 
outlook and jamming them all together. Maybe you 
know somebody who says he believes in God, but 
doesn't believe in hell and thinks we should do 
whatever makes us feel best. 
   That can look good on the outside - sort 
of like a hot dog - but inside it's a pasty, 
bland, and non-nutritious belief system. God wants 
us to be strong. He gave us the Bible so that 
we could know what to believe and how to live 
for him. Yet many people pick and choose which 
parts they want to believe. Then they mix in 
harmful additives from other religions. 
   That's not healthy (sort of like eating a 
cheap hot dog). When you eat the pure meat of 
God's Word, you grow strong in your faith. The 
writer of Hebrews says, "Solid food is for the 
mature, who by constant use have trained themselves 
to distinguish good from evil." By reading your 
Bible and listening to godly teachers, you feed 
yourself good meat ... not some strange, harmful 
mystery meat. [Case For Christ For Kids by Les 
Strobel mod.] 


Mature believers understand the heavenly 
priesthood of Jesus Christ and know how to come to the 
throne of grace for help. They are skillful in 
using God's truth in their personal lives, and 
they can also teach others. Do you qualify? 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 


1st of 28: Divine Dining: 
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine: 
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible: 
4th of 28: Cared For: 
5th of 28: Saved: 
6th of 28: You Can Change: 
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains: 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 
Gibbs FGGibbs@abible.com