Posts Tagged ‘Boast’


1 John 2:15-17, 22-25, 27
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever… Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life… As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

In recent days, I have been exploring the web  to understand what non-believing christians find contentious about the christian faith. As expected, there are thousands of articles and videos that cast doubt on the very existence of God, let alone the christian God and there are many christians who have responded to some of these challenges either successfully or not. Believing is the most critical part of our faith and knowing why we believe is critical as well when we hope to share what Christ has done for us. Questions like the need for a God, the authenticity of the Bible, the worth of a God who does not save people from suffering, etc. are hard questions and because we cannot get an answer, it might cause us to doubt if our faith is correctly placed in the first place. How then can God remind us to hold firm to our faith when we do not have answers to basic issues such as these? (more…)

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Galatians 6:14-16
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

Recognition is such a wonderful high and I like most other humans thrive on it. Measuring our efforts and success through the world’s lens give us meaning and appreciation for what we do and so we continue to strive. For some, it may be the pursuit of knowledge, for some their physical beauty, for some the ability to make money, for others the association with people of power, for some the power of their body, for others the strength of mind and so on. The apostle Paul however seems to be a man of a different mould. So different that we might consider him indifferent and incompatible in our social world. Would I ever want to be a Paul and live a life of oblivion or would I prefer my own life where I try and balance the two sides of me?

As I battle to understand what God wants for me, this morning’s passage seems to ring clear in the fog of my confused mind. The good news of Jesus is that He recognizes our sinfulness and our inability to cover that sinfulness by showing the world who we are not. We like to live a life of oblivion where we prefer hiding our problems in the dark alleys of our personality and use what is acceptable to the world as our fronts. In Christ however, we gain the freedom from our sins but to fully live a life of meaning to Him who set us free, we cannot be living to please the world because the world operates diametrically opposite to Christ and what He desires. If we are to gain Christ, we have to lose the world and it’s pinning. Are we living for the moment or for eternity in the presence of our creator God?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I quite enjoy writing and feel comfortable expressing myself with pen and keyboard better than I might communicate verbally. I can write at the pace I want, chose my tone, correct my thoughts, erase mistakes and in effect present myself and my thoughts better. However writing about Christ is another matter completely. As hard as I try to write these devotionals I fail when I try. There is only success when I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and for that I need to be walking with the Lord. I enjoy talking to people too but again when I am counseling someone, I am a failure when I try to do it on my own strength. However, I have seen how powerfully the Lord can work through us when we submit those conversations to God and ask for His leading.

As wise as Paul was, as eloquent as he was, as well thought as he came across, I do not think Paul would have such an impact on the world as he has had without the leading of God. Like Paul we are ineffective in our lives minus the working of the Lord in our lives. Minus Jesus Christ, we are always ‘Trying’ but with Christ in our lives, we are ‘Achieving’. The Lord has permitted Satan’s thorns in our flesh to show us our sinfulness but in Christ we have His grace which is sufficient for us to cope and in Him we have the power to rise above our failures to succeed for His glory. I write and speak and do all things now in Christ because even though I am weak in many areas, through Christ I am strengthened and I can now work for His glory alone. Are you trying or are you achieving?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 17-18
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ… 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.

As a child, I always wanted to serve in the army and I loved reading books related to wars. My Dad had a collection of books that I would often take and read and picture myself in those situations. I dreamt of being a member of the winning side and our victories were hard fought but well won. Superheroes were great too but the fun of being a part of a group of men fighting side by side was a lot more appealing to me. As I grew up, I realized that I was not the athlete I dreamt I was and my strength was more in the area of encouraging others and building relationships, not fighting battles. Then I was saved by the grace of God and now I’m in the army, albeit a different one!

As Paul states so rightly, we are fighting a battle but not one that is fought on the battlefields with weapons that cause physical harm to anyone. Our battle is fought against the forces of evil that seek to devour every man, woman and child and keep them away from the saving grace of God. What the world does not see is how they are held captive by Satan who might be unseen but is very real. Everyday I adorn the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and step out in battle and my joy is in knowing that my Lord Jesus Christ has won the battle when He rose from the dead. My strength lies in the Lord and so is my confidence. Are you in the same battle with me or are you living under the grips of sin in Satan’s kingdom?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ephesians 6:14-18 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As a Christian, my yardstick for spiritual growth was the level of knowledge I had of God’s word, it’s intricacies, complexities, correctness, etc. Studying God’s word was done with a purpose of getting it technically right in order to understand and apply it in my life. It seems Paul was not writing just to the Corinthian Church but also to the likes of people like me, people lost in the technicalities rather than the essence of God’s message for us. I was often encouraged to seek spiritual gifts to enhance my walk with the Lord and I’ve spent significant prayer time asking God for them and less on praying for those in need of God around me. What is God saying to us today?

God’s primary purpose in sending His son Jesus into the world was to save us sinners from hell and to restore us into a right and meaningful relationship with Him. The motive was love, the sacrifice was love, the communication was in love, the blessing was in love and the entire gospel revolves around God’s eternal and amazing love. Paul reminds us that we are called to love one another and to love the lost like God loves us because the message is love and God wants us to serve him with our hearts, not with our technical prowess. Lets love God with our all and share God’s love with all.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 9:16-18, 25
Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it… Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Paul is a passionate man of God and earnestly sought the Lord until his last breath. We can see that in his writing and the way he earnestly pushes the Corinthian Christians to walk in the right path. The Corinthians felt they did not have to give up their own liberty for any man’s pleasures and so Paul uses himself as an example to ask if he was not free to exercise his freedom in terms of marriage, being paid a salary, eating of food and drink, etc. Paul’s question to us is what are we doing with our new found freedom?

Although I like sports, I am not much of a champion in any sport but still enjoy playing competitively. The goal is to win but our joy is to gloat in the glory of being called a winner. That glory is short lived but as Christians, our goal is to live with Christ in heaven and that goal is confirmed before we start our race and lasts an eternity! In our Christian walk, our mission is to go out and share the good news of Jesus to the world. Our joy is to serve the Lord with our all and to do that; we need to be able to love those like Jesus loved us. How can we love our freedom more than we love our Lord and those He loves? 1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 4:6-7
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Paul continues in his letter to the church in Corinth and to us today where he reminds us that we are servants of Christ Jesus entrusted with the secret things of God and that we are not to judge others because only Christ can judge and reward us as He can see the motives of our hearts. He also warns us not to go beyond what is written in God’s word and this is critical to us today in our walk with the Lord. We are ‘Glory Thieves’ and our desire is to always make ourselves look better in the eyes of man and in this pursuit we twist even the word of God to our benefit.

As I was riding back on the train yesterday afternoon, I tried to read a book but was distracted by the ambient noise of people chattering. I put down my book and listened to what was being discussed. The train was full of everyday people who regularly travelled together and conversations included issues in their workplaces, relationships, homes, lousy weather, busy weekends, endless chores and more. When I looked outside, I noticed that we were traveling through a picturesque landscape of mountains, waterways, colourful flora and fauna, quiet towns and a beautiful life, which few were able to see because they were consumed by the pains of the lives. Do we really appreciate what God has blessed us with and is life not much more than just our problems? Let’s refocus our eyes on Him and live for Him and lets us not be blinded by our problems but instead share the joy we have abounding within us through our relationship with Jesus!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy