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What Luther Says

Being Satisfied And Enjoying What You Have (Ecclesiastes 6:9)

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about being satisfied and enjoying what you have.

See, that's because my family and I just returned from a beautiful trip to the Baltimore, MD/Washington D.C. area to visit my aunt like we do every summer.

Of course, we all wish we could've stayed for another week or more!

Isn't it funny how even after God blesses us with such glorious gifts as a family vacation in addition to His Son, His Word, His Sacraments, and eternal salvation, we continue to feel unsatisfied and are always wanting more, more, more?

Such is the nature of our fallen, sinful flesh no matter how "spiritual" we might think we are.

Besides, only Jesus Christ can ever truly satisfy us. Of course, the thought of "being satisfied" brought to mind a few well known verses from Proverbs 30 too...

Proverbs 30:15-16 (ESV) The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, "Enough": Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, "Enough."

That's not the only thing our Lord has to say about the topic of satisfaction, His many gifts given to us, and our attitude and rightful response to His gifts.

Our Book of Concord speaks extensively about "Confession And Satisfaction" too (though in a different and more important way).

For instance, we're reminded of how Christ satisfied the penalty that was required for our sins when He died on the cross in our place.

When we segregate Christ from sins and from sinners and set him forth to us only as an example to be imitated, we make Christ not only useless to us but also a judge and a tyrant who is angry because of our sins and who damns sinners. But just as Christ is wrapped up in our flesh and blood, so we must wrap him and know him to be wrapped up in our sins, our curse, our death and everything evil. When the merciful Father saw that we were being oppressed through the Law, that we were being held under a curse, and that we should not be liberated from it by anything, He sent his Son into the world, heaped all the sins of all men upon him and said to him: "Be Peter the denier, Paul the persecutor, blasphemer and assaulter, David the adulterer; the sinner who at the apple in Paradise; the thief on the cross. In short, be the person of all men, the one who has committed the sins of all men. And see to it that you pay and make satisfaction for them." 
-- Martin Luther

Yes, Christ Jesus saw to it that He paid and made "satisfaction" for the sins of all mankind. That's the kind of satisfaction that should always matter most to us in this life, because it secures our place in the next one to come.

However, as so often happens, my daily Bible study from this morning was spot on relevant to the current circumstances of my life! Check this out...

While this was the perfect daily devotion for me to read today after returning home from a wonderful vacation visiting family (and feeling the natural temptation to immediately want to whine and say something like, "Ugh, is it really back to reality so soon!?!"), I personally think that this is the kind of truth that's meant more for the "Men & Women of The Mundane Mondays Through Sundays" than for the "Returning Vacationers & Weekend Warriors."

It's godly wisdom that we all should strive to keep in mind through each and every breath that the Lord gives us, especially in this day-and-age where we have a tendency to want to always focus on what we don't have as opposed to everything we already have (a.k.a. the many undeserved and underappreciated gifts from God).

Let's not forget how this teaching ties together the 7th, 9th, and 10th Commandments too.

Stealing says we don't trust God or we don't appreciate His "daily bread" for us. Stealing is "My will be done!" and not "Thy will be done!"

Whining about what you want but don't have is clearly breaking the 9th Commandment. In essence, it shows us how we desire elements of God's creation (i.e., material things) more than God Himself.

When we break the 10th Commandment by coveting elements of God's creation (i.e., living things) we are revealing our displeasure with what God has already given to us. Again, it's whining about what we want and don't have.

As the Lutheran Study Bible comments on this verse from Ecclesiastes 6:9, "It is better to make the best of what one has (contentment) than to wander in the ways of desire (covetousness)."

In a Lutheran layman's terms, we should always use what God has placed before us, give thanks, and be satisfied with it, because it is more than enough since we don't truly deserve any of it.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.


  1. Thank you for you posts! What is the bible study or devotional you are reading from and have posted the picture of August 1?

  2. It's from a little daily devotional book called "By Faith Alone: 365 Devotional Readings Updated In Today's Language" by Martin Luther. Normally, I would cringe at anything hinting at "changing" or "updating" the original writings into today's language, but I've found this to be a very faithful translation (so far).

    Grace And Peace,

    1. I do not believe the full title of the book was named. Would you please provide the full name of the book. Thank you so much!

  3. I'm not sure why portions of comments are being cut off like that so, hopefully, I can get the full title to show here this time. It's "By Faith Alone: 365 Devotional Readings Updated In Today's Language" by Martin Luther.

    Grace And Peace,


Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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