Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Boasting in the Lord

Chuckle: A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt." His son asked, "What happened to the flea?"
Quote: "My great concern is not whether God is on our side, my great concern is to be on God's side." --Abraham Lincoln
BOASTING IN THE LORD
    "The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done" (1 Corinthians 1:31 NLT).
Many of us like to draw attention to ourselves by boasting about what we have done. Some have the idea that the way to earn God’s favor and attain eternal life is to live a moral life. If we can convince God of our “goodness,” surely He will find us acceptable in His sight. But we must realize that skills, wisdom, and good deeds do not get a person into God’s kingdom – simple faith in Jesus Christ does. Let’s delve into this amazing truth more deeply and learn how to satisfy our desire to boast.   
In our passage, Paul gives us some sage advice concerning boasting. It's easy for us to want the credit for all the good things in life as if we had earned them all on our own. When we begin to think too highly of ourselves, we risk having our pride take control and everything becomes about us and what we have done. "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you" (Romans 12:3 NIV). We are warned that "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18 NIV).
Our pride and boasting should always be about what God has done. That way He receives all the honor He deserves. When it comes to our salvation, no one can boast that personal achievements helped him or her secure eternal life. No, our salvation is a gift from God through our faith in Jesus Christ. We can never be "good" enough to earn it. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If we have been saved by God’s grace through faith, what is the significance of doing good deeds/works? This verse reveals the answer. “For we are God’s workmaship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”  (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Now our good works are to glorify God, not to earn our way into His favor.  
If we recognize that everything we are and everything we have comes from God, we have accepted the truth that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . . ." (James 1:17 NIV). When we glorify God, we praise Him and our only boasting is about what He has done in our lives.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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