Learning Contentment; Awaiting Glory
Our readings this week show that nothing in this world will ever completely satisfy us. But there is One who does fill our souls.
Contentment has been an issue since the Garden of Eden. The serpent sowed seeds of discontentment in Eve and she ate the forbidden fruit that brought death. In this week’s readings, Ecclesiastes warns us not to expect too much of life under the sun while Colossians challenges us not to expect too little of Jesus Christ in whom we find all our sufficiency and the fullness of life. In Him are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The letters to the Thessalonians clarify issues concerning how believers should live as they await the final day and the return of Jesus Christ.
[Note: This blog post is based on last week’s reading: Ecclesiastes, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians.]
Here are my book titles, key verses, and thoughts from this week’s reading:
Ecclesiastes—Realistic Expectations for Life
Key verses: The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Thoughts: The writer of Ecclesiastes says that experience taught him that nothing (even the best things) in this world completely satisfy us. But that doesn’t mean that life is meaningless or that what we do or don’t do has no importance. There is a God. He has given us commandments to keep and He will judge us in the end including the secret things of our lives. We will not do this perfectly (Ecclesiastes 7:20), so how can we be approved by God when we are judged? He doesn’t tell us, so we must read on to find out.
Colossians—Christ: Supreme Everywhere & Sufficient in Everything
Key verses: For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
Thoughts: If Ecclesiastes leaves us looking for something or Someone to fill us, Paul gives us the answer. In Christ is the fullness of everything. All things are from Him and for Him—including us, His creatures. Look no further.
1 Thessalonians—Exhortations to an Exemplary Church
Key verse: Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Thoughts: Paul commends this church more than any other, but exhorts them to continue growing in sanctification in light of the Lord’s return.
2 Thessalonians—Keeping Steady while Waiting for End Times
Key verses: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Thoughts: Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians continues his emphasis on the return of Christ and clarifies some matters that they either misunderstood or that needed further explanation. The Apostle keeps the balance of the Christians’ responsibility to obey and to trust God who completes His work in them.
Our readings this week show that nothing in this world will ever completely satisfy us. Contentment eludes us. Only Christ can fill the void in our hearts and He does that for all who believe in Him. But we have not yet fully experienced Him. He will return. He will take us to Himself and to His glory. What a day awaits us! Meanwhile, God’s will is our sanctification, our growth in holiness that begins with the knowledge that by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone we stand justified in His presence. May these truths spur us on to growth in love and good works.
This week’s reading: 2 Kings
© John A Carroll 2018 Used by permission.