The Object Of Our Love Determines Our Satisfaction

Daily Scripture readings for March, set #7:

Jeremiah, chapters 14-15
Ecclesiastes 5
John 2:13-25
James 3:13-18

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts” (Jer 15:16). This verse is absolutely not what the context of today’s Jeremiah chapters are really getting at, but it stuck out to me anyway. Notice that God’s words BECAME a joy and a delight. They weren’t always. And the “for” in the next sentence is “because,” meaning that God’s words became a delight to Jeremiah BECAUSE he was called.

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity” (Eccl 5:10). The object of our love determines our satisfaction.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (Jn 2:23-25). A sign is exactly what the Pharisees immediately ask of Jesus when he overturns the tables in the temple (vs 18). Jesus does plenty of signs in his ministry, but this text makes clear that he does not desire the allegiance of those who are only interested in signs.

True wisdom: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (Jam 3:17). Contrast this with the worldly wisdom of verses 14-15.

Daily Scripture readings for March, set #8:

Jeremiah, chapters 16-18
Ecclesiastes 6
John 3:1-15
James 4:1-10

In Jeremiah 16:5 the Lord says this concerning Israel: “Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the Lord.” Is this the Lord failing his promise? Is this the Lord abandoning his people when he said he wouldn’t? A resounding NO. In verses 10-13 we see the explanation, that Israel fell short of their end of the deal. “For behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me” (vs 12). This is the quintessential definition of the Old Covenant, which makes the forthcoming chapters in Jeremiah all the more amazing…

“All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied” (Eccl 6:7). This reminds me of the “God-shaped hole” idea that I used to hear in Sunday School.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn 3:6). Is Jesus making a distinction here between “body” and “soul?” Or is he perhaps saying that certain people are born merely in a fleshly way, where others are “born again” in a spiritual sense?

The nail in the coffin of the “name it and claim it” philosophy: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (Jam 4:3). How then does one rightly discern what to ask for? “Submit yourselves therefore to God” (vs 7).

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