Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My Qualifications

2 Corinthians 3:5

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. NLT

IMG_0301As a person who grew up playing sports – I understand what it means to qualify. I have faced cut days – on numerous occasions. The thrill of seeing my name on the team list – a number of times – was quite the thrill for sure – to qualify. I made teams but was never a star or even a starter on many teams. I was good enough to qualify for the teams but fell short of the abilities of other players – many times. It was neat being on some of the teams – it was nice being part of a group of others who qualified – it was a good feeling.

As a person who grew up playing an instrument (trumpet) – in several bands and orchestras in three levels of school – I understand what is means to qualify. I also know what it means to not qualify. I failed a number of times to qualify for a higher level of achievement – partly because I was deaf in one ear and couldn’t pass the tuning test. I made the band – the marching band – the orchestra – the jazz band – and more – rising to 1st Trumpet/Cornet in several.  I have qualified and I have failed or fallen short in music. Much joy came from performing and being with fellow musicians.  Some of my dearest memories are from my days when I qualified – and some of my hardest times were times I failed.

As a person who grew up in church life – even as my calling developed in ministry – I know what it means to qualify and to not qualify.  I have faced failure and I have faced success in ministry – throughout the journey.  I have diplomas and I have scares.  I have ordinations and I have failures.

As a person who grew up in a world where at times you qualify and at times you don’t – I know what it is like to succeed and I know what it is like to fail. Here’s today’s passage in partial context – as Paul describes his ministry. 2 Corinthians 3:1–6 (NLT) – 1 Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

As a person who grew up in a world where much of life is about qualifying or failing – I’m so glad that the ultimate determination of whether I qualify or not is not left to my meager abilities or lack thereof. My ultimate qualification is based on my relationship with Jesus Christ – on my Lord Jesus Himself! My ultimate worth is not based on what sports team I played on or road the pine. My ultimate worth is based upon the work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary and my willingness to deny myself and follow Jesus.

As a person who grew up – like me – in a world where we often must qualify for many things – have you qualified for eternity yet? Have you given yourself over to Jesus – to follow Him and qualify by grace?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 12, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

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