Monday, August 31, 2009

Devotional - Bragging In The Lord

Good morning my friends. I am a bit excited to get this day started. It is our first official day of school. Although I would have liked to see summer extended by a month, now that the day has arrived, I am excited to get started. But first, our final look at 2 Corinthians 10.

It is a simple matter this morning of how and with whom we find our worth. We will meet plenty of people in our lifetime who think well of themselves. That seems to be the big thing and has been for a very long time; self promotion. After all, if you don't believe in yourself who will? This is how Paul appraised these people who had promoted themselves as being more spiritual than Paul:

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. v. 12

Paul puts it rather simply; they are not wise. Sometimes we will do this quietly to ourselves, comparing ourselves to imperfect people. It is where bullies come from. Bullies pick on people who they consider weaker than themselves. They tear down people in order to lift themselves up in the eyes of their friends. If is a simple thing for us to be spiritual bullies without realizing it. I think we have all felt the sting of a well placed unkind comment from the "more spiritual" members of a congregation. We are felt to feel a bit low because we haven't made it out to many prayer meetings or we ask too many questions in Bible Study. This isn't the Church, it is a bullified playground. Only a fool acts like this in the Church, comparing their spiritual growth with themselves or others, which leads to self-promotion.

Paul makes short work of putting these people back in their place and he uses a quote from Jeremiah 9:24 to do it:

But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. vs. 17-18

There is no place for boasting in the Church because we haven't done anything. Our salvation is the work of the Lord. Our calling is by God's grace. The work we do is done by the Lord through us. These is no place where we can lift ourselves up because we are merely servants. What we should be seeking is the commendation of our Lord. We live our life to please him, not ourselves or anyone else. We are not looking for anyone else's approval, only his. If we were able to live with this perspective there would be a lot less self-promotion in the Church because the only promotion that would be going on is the promotion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So as we plunge into this day with joy and passion let us testify to the goodness of our Lord. Let us testify to what he has done for us and continues to do for us. Let us brag about how he answers our prayers, builds us up, increases our strength, and directs our path. Let us tell as many people today as we can about the love of Jesus Christ. After all, there is only one person we can boast about in the Church because he is the one who does all the work. Let us make our longing to hear these words at the end of our days, "Well done my good and faithful servant. Come in and enter my rest".

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