Our baby birds have finally hatched! Ava and I spent the other night just watching the momma bird feed her young, and she asked why she was doing that? I had to explain that they couldn't feed or protect themselves. The momma bird's job was not done after they were born, she still had more to do until they were grown. Well...the same applies to those who are born again and spiritual infants. Our job is not simply to get people to the water - to fulfill the rest of the great commission, we must teach & protect new babes in Christ. Don't abandon someone after they obey the gospel, your job is not finished yet.
What if I told you that God could be seen in the most ordinary things every day?
What if I told you that every day, ordinary events could teach us extraordinary eternal truths?
Would you believe me?
Hi, I’m BJ Sipe – and you’re listening to the Set Your Mind Above Podcast.
I am a Christian, a preacher, a husband, and a father.
Thanks for tuning in!
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to last week’s episode, I would highly encourage you to carve out the time to give it a listen. I had the tremendous honor of getting to sit down with my good friend Hal Hammons, a fellow Christian, preacher, husband, father, and the host of the Citizen of Heaven podcast. He was my guinea pig of sorts as he was the first of many to come to be interviewed on this program, and I couldn’t have thought of a better guest kick us off. Make sure to mark your calendars for the last Thursday of each month for a new interview. Well, enough of that, on to today’s episode. If you’ll remember, a few weeks ago we dropped the episode titled, “Clay pots & bird nests”, where I detailed how a robin had quickly taken over one of our pots for herbs we put up on our back patio for a nest. Well, since then she has laid 4 beautiful bright turquoise eggs. The kids have been absolutely fascinated by this, and frequently have their faces pressed up against the glass as they watch the mother sitting on her eggs. Almost every day they have asked, “Are there baby birds yet?” and I would go out and peak and report back, “Nope, not yet.” Well, as of this week, three of the four eggs have hatched, making us hosts to a handful of brand-new baby birds. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a baby bird in person before, but they are ugly as sin. Their leathery pink skin is covered with patchy grey feathers, with eyes far too big for their head. It’s strange how something so sickly looking is simultaneously quite cute, and I’m all here for it – as are the kids. Well, let’s back up to Tuesday night around 8:00 pm, where I want to relay a conversation that took place between me and my daughter Ava. Dane had already gone to bed because he was exhausted, so I was enjoying some daddy/daughter time with Ava on the couch cuddled up in a blanket watching Bluey. It came time for her to go to bed, so we started our routine of taking vitamins and getting jammies on when I noticed movement out back out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look out our back door, and said, “Ava, quietly and quickly come here, I want to show you something.” She climbed up in my arms and I carried her over to the door, where we stood watching as still as can be. You see, it was feeding time, and the momma bird was perched on the side of the clay pot, sticking her head in repeatedly and feeding her young. “What is she doing?” asked Ava, captivated with wide eyes full of curiosity. “Well, she’s feeding them. That’s how mommy birds feed their babies,” I replied. Ava looked puzzled, “Why don’t the baby birds just fly down and get their own food?” she asked. I chuckled, “Well, that’s a very good question, honey. That’s because the baby birds were just born, so they can’t fly yet; they can’t even feed themselves. It’s going to take some time for them to grow before they can leave the nest and start caring for themselves. That’s why the momma bird sticks around after they are born – they still need her to feed them and protect them until they are ready to go out on their own.” My answer seemed to satisfy her for the time being, so we just stood their quietly for a few more minutes before she flew away and we headed off to bed.
As I tucked my daughter into bed and kissed her goodnight, I walked back down the dark hallway and reflected on our conversation. I started thinking about the way the mother robin’s job was not finished after laying the eggs and protecting them until they hatched. She had more work to do, and could not abandon them after their birth. Hearing this, you might be thinking, well…duh? Isn’t this life 101? No parents job is complete immediately after their child is born. And I would agree with you – this should be a simple truth that we understand. However, I am afraid that perhaps it is a truth that we have forgotten when it comes to those who have just been born again and are babes in Christ. Let’s begin by looking at the first part of the great commission together out of Matthew 28: 19, where Jesus commanded, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The great commission can be summarized simply by saying the following: found people find people. Part of our mission as disciples of Jesus is to go and make more disciples for him! And in this effort, I can do nothing but build up the churches that I have been a part of in my life. There has been a great amount of time and energy placed into reaching the lost and bringing them to Christ. The seeds of the gospel are planted in the hearts of souls looking for hope, and time and time again I have seen countless people of all ages obey the gospel and come to faith and be baptized into Christ. Those are very exciting and special times, aren’t they? When that man or woman comes up out of that water, and the whole church is filled with joy as they have just witnessed new birth of that person’s spirit who has become a child of God. But here is my question…what happens next? To answer this, we need to return to the great commission and read the rest of what Jesus had to say. We read in vv. 20, “teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Let me now share what I have witnessed as a general rule among many churches I have been a part of in my life. Again, there are always exceptions, this is just a general statement that I have personally witnessed in my own life. Someone is taught the gospel, they come to faith, are baptized into Christ, and then…abandoned. I mean, what else is there to do? They’ve been born again, so we’ve done our jobs, right? Wrong. Jesus makes it perfectly clear in the great commission that our sole purpose is not just to get someone to the water, but we must stick around afterwards to then help those who are babes in Christ. Just like a baby bird does not know how to feed itself and cannot protect itself, those who are spiritually mature have a responsibility from Christ to teach and protect those who are new in faith. I am reminded of Hebrews 5:12-14 where we read, “…You need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” Notice what the Hebrew writer said – those who are spiritual “infants” so to speak are still in great need of much teaching and protection. You cannot just throw them into whatever classes are being taught in our local churches and expect them to immediately be able to digest and comprehend hard spiritual truths. They don’t need steak, they need milk. They need fed as they grow and mature. So, my friends, here is my plea: don’t abandon babes in Christ. Don’t leave them to feed and protect themselves. God has called you to fulfill the rest of your mission in discipleship – to teach them & protect them like a mother bird does her children. May we as the church rise to fulfill not just part of the great commission, but all of it.
Thank you for tuning in for this week’s episode, and I would invite you back every Thursday for a brand-new episode each week. If you haven’t already, be sure to find us on Facebook for future announcements or even some special video sessions. If you have benefited from this podcast, share it with someone else that you think would benefit from it also. Until next time, know that I love you, that God loves you, and may we all each & every day set our minds above.