Lenten Devotional Reading 29

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March 29, 2017

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-11

Who’s in Charge?

As we go through life, we tend to forget again and again who is in charge of us, our world and the universe or if there is anybody in charge at all. Sometimes, when things are going smoothly, I feel like I am in control of everything and I give myself a hearty pat on the back, but when things aren’t going as well, I panic at how chaotic the situation seems and how powerless I am.

As Jeremiah makes a visit to the potter, he, and through him Israel, is reminded that God is in control of creation, just as the potter is in control of the clay on the wheel. God declares, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:6b) God is in control of every aspect of our lives and has the power to form it as he wills. But not only is God all-powerful, his love and wisdom also know no end. Just as the potter has a purpose for each one of his creations, God wants to carefully mold us into the people he wants us to be. God knows what is best for us, he wants what is best for us, and he has the power to achieve what is best for us. Why then, do we not all have perfect, fulfilling lives?

A hungry crowd in John 6 had also forgotten who was in control and hearing that Jesus offered eternal bread and a life without hunger, they quickly asked how they could earn this bread. Jesus, instead of giving them a list of commands to follow or jobs to do, tells them that the only thing they need to do is to believe in him. This instruction, which may seem simple at first, is actually quite challenging. It means throwing away your pride, the thought that you can do something to earn your salvation, and humbly accepting your total dependence on God. It means admitting not only that we cannot completely control our lives, but that God has everything under his control. Only then can we truly accept the Living Bread, which is Jesus, and have a fulfilling, eternal life. This is God’s ultimate goal for our lives. As Jesus said, “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

Later, we find out that the hungry crowd couldn’t accept this living bread because they refused to believe that Jesus was who he claimed to be: God taking on human form to live among them. They didn’t believe in Jesus, which was the one work that was required of them. This work remains equally challenging to this day. Have you submitted your will to God’s will? Or are there parts of your life that you’re still trying to control? Will you let God mold you into the person God intended you to be?

Prayer: Father, thank you that you love us and have a plan for each and every one of us. Thank you that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can have eternal life through him. We pray that we can submit our lives to you daily so that you can work in us and through us to accomplish your will. Amen.

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