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Daily Devotional: Understanding the Greatest Commandment - A boy with outstretched arms at sunset over the sea. Daily Devotional: Understanding the Greatest Commandment - A boy with outstretched arms at sunset over the sea.

Questions and Answers | Understanding the Greatest Commandment

I often hear pastors and Christian friends talk about being "satisfied with Jesus." What does that mean or, more practically speaking, how does it work? Are we really supposed to feel satisfied spiritually all the time? Is that what God expects of us?

I appreciate your honest question. The word “satisfied” usually refers to the fulfillment of our needs or wants. It implies contentment, gratification, and a source or means of enjoyment. But these definitions don’t seem particularly pertinent to the biblical understanding of satisfaction because they are based on our circumstances or emotions. I suspect it is easy to confuse spiritual satisfaction with circumstantial happiness, emotional gratification, or self-satisfaction, all of which have very little to do with biblical teaching.

The reality is that some Christians’ lives are easier than others; things go better for some people than for others for any number of reasons. For example, some people are more optimistic than others. That doesn’t mean they are more satisfied with Jesus. Someone who is sad or discontent with the state of the world (which may be a very appropriate response) may be more satisfied with Jesus because they depend on Him.

The concept of satisfaction appears in a long list of Bible verses that would be important to study. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 107:9 notes, “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” In Philippians 4:11, Paul says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

One writer notes that spiritual hunger is the type that “no food on earth can satisfy.” James K. A. Smith said it is “important to recognize that our ultimate loves, longings, desires, and cravings are learned.” So, the questions we must ask ourselves are: What do we love? What do we crave? What do we think about day to day?

Satisfaction relies on the foundation of our beliefs. If we don’t know who Jesus is, how can we love what He loves? If we have not spent time reading the Gospels and seeing Jesus for who He is, how can we ever be satisfied with Him?

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over five decades. She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. Rosalie is a published author, respected speaker, and talented writer. She lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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