Lenten Devotional

March 28, 2018

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Jeremiah 17: 5-10; 14-17 

Affirming and Scary

The contrast Jeremiah describes couldn’t be greater: a bush in the salt-covered desert or a tree that thrives near a stream; a curse or a blessing; one whose heart turns away from the Lord and trusts in man or one who trusts in the Lord. Wouldn’t you think things so different would be obvious? And yet, Jeremiah writes that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? It does seem that each of us lives on a spectrum of wanting to trust in the Lord yet suddenly find ourselves trusting in man. In a sense, we seem to be both blessed and cursed.

Jeremiah goes on to say that the Lord searches the heart and examines the mind to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve. This sounds both affirming and scary because of the spectrum we live on ─ affirming when we trust in the Lord and scary when we find ourselves turning away from him. Affirming when we feel close to him and behave as he would have us behave. Scary when we realize that our deeds deserve condemnation. And this is where Jesus comes in. Precisely during Holy Week we realize what a gift God has given us in Jesus taking our condemnation on the Cross with him. Through him, we are both healed and saved. Through him, we are not cursed but blessed.

With this great news, we can join with Jeremiah in saying, “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise!”

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