Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7 – The right way to boast

“If people want to boast, they should boast about this: they should boast that they understand and know me. They should boast that they know and understand that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth and that I desire people to do these things,” says the Lord.   (Jeremiah 9:24  NET)

Jeremiah lived at a crucial time in the history of the people of God, very much like our time.  Israel, the northern kingdom, had already been conquered and its people led off to exile, and Judah, the southern kingdom, along with Jerusalem and the Temple were next.  Though Jeremiah challenged people to turn from their rebellious, idolatrous ways and turn to God, they ignored him and were eventually conquered too — one of the saddest moments in Israel’s history.

Isn’t it amazing to think that the people who had walked through the Red Sea on dry land, who had marched around the walls of Jericho and seen its walls collapse, turned their backs on God and were run out of the Promised Land that God had given them?  Unbelievers overran their cities because they had become even greater unbelievers!  

The remedy to this sad condition, which could so easily happen to us today, is to boast in God, not in ourselves.  We should not be infatuated with anything in life — possessions, money, fame, power, beauty, family, love life, careers, health — because none of these things can save us.  Though people all around us judge themselves by how much money they earn, what car they drive, their beauty, or the people they know, we need the wisdom and courage to be different.  Our boasting should be about how we understand and know God, the Creator of the Universe, the One who can truly make a difference in our lives.

How can we boast about what we’ve accomplished when the air we breathe and the bodies we inhabit are free gifts from God?  Real happiness and joy, true success and power come from acknowledging God’s greatness and our total dependence on Him.  We cannot, under any circumstance start boasting about ourselves, because if we do we will be committing the same sin that Lucifer committed, and our end will be the same as his. Just as God is faithful, fair, and just, He is looking for people who manifest the same qualities and who gladly, generously boast about His goodness and power.  The more we do, the more blessed we will be. 

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