Daily D – Jeremiah 9:12-14

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Jeremiah 9:12-14  Who is the person wise enough to understand this? Who has the LORD spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through? The LORD said, “It is because they abandoned my instruction, which I set before them, and did not obey my voice or walk according to it. (CSB)

A neighborhood friend in my elementary school years proclaimed his theological expertise after he was baptized. He said, “Now I can do anything I want ‘cause I’m saved. You can’t lose your salvation.”

I was a year younger than him and gave him the benefit of the doubt. He had understanding and experience I did not. Even so, his theology didn’t sound quite right. 

As it turns out, I was more right than him. He may have been eight years old, and I may have been seven, but there are some truths that were true before we were born and will be true for all time. 

“You can’t lose your salvation” is technically correct. However, if your salvation consisted of getting baptized so that you could do whatever you wanted and not worry about it, I’m not sure you are really saved. 

I’m not saying my eight-year-old buddy is headed to hell. That is a matter between God and him. It sounded to my seven-year-old ears (and my sixty-two-year-old self) as if salvation for my buddy was a transaction like putting coins in a vending machine and receiving a yummy chocolate snack. 

Salvation is not a mere transaction. It is not a matter of saying magic words and getting dunked in a magic pool. Instead, it is a lifetime of transformation. We follow in Jesus’s steps and learn to live as he lived, love as he loved, and serve as he served. We begin to see other people as he sees them, love them as he loves them, and serve them as he served them.

The more transformed we become, the less interested we are in “doing what we want” when “doing what we want” is sinful, hurtful, hateful, and harmful (See Galatians 5:19-21.) Transformation over time roots out of our lives what is not like Jesus and replaces it with spiritual fruitfulness (Galatians 5:22, 23).

My eight-year-old friend is sixty-three if he is still living. I’m hoping he is doing whatever he wants today and that he wants what God wants for him. (See Psalm 37:1-4.) The secret to the Good Life is a secret to many because they still live like eight-year-olds doing what they want. The open truth available to everyone is how transformation touches every aspect of our lives. It improves everything it touches. It reshapes us. It deepens and broadens us. It enlarges our capacity to enjoy all of God’s good gifts.

Take a look at the verses above. Those people in that day did whatever they wanted. They did not choose the Good Life God offered. The end result was destruction. We ignore God at our own peril. This is not because he wants to destroy us or the people around us. God warned everyone repeatedly how they needed to change, and if they did not change, destruction would come as the end result of their wrong desires. 

Where do you stand in your personal transformation? What fruit is God growing in your life? How are you more like Jesus now than when you first believed?

If I run into the senior adult man who was an eight-year-old boy with bad theology, I will be able to tell pretty quickly if his faith is still transactional or if it has been truly transformative. He will see me for who I am as well. I hope we meet on one of my good days.

Is this a good day?

I will ask God to truly transform my life by building the fruit of the Spirit into me in ever-greater measure.

Our Father, please transform me into the man you have always dreamed I would be. Fill my life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May these be evident in everything I do and say. Amen. 

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