Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

May We Only Boast in the Cross

Galatians 6:14

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.

Life ChangeDid your team win the National Championship in Division 1 basketball? Virginia won for the men. My cousin Mac went to Virginia and he was very happy. Did your team even make the dance? If so – how far did they go? My team – Maryland – made the dance and made it to the second round – but fizzled out. Did any of us boast on social media about our team? How about at work or in other conversations?

Did our team win their opening game in Major League Baseball this week? The Orioles usually do but didn’t this year. Which team will win their division this year – the league championship – the World Series? If our team is playing well – will we compare them to other teams and boast a little in our circles? The Orioles started out real well and had a few good games – but are losing as of late.

I saw some parents posting on Facebook about their children’s spring teams and some about their children’s scholastic achievements. I’m so proud of our youth and the youth I know. Some High School seniors I know are busy preparing for college or careers. Our new favorite college team might just be where our child attends – even if we never saw ourselves rooting for them before!

We live in a competitive world. I’ve heard social discussions comparing handicaps in golf – comparing salaries – comparing worship attendance (pastors and members) – comparing retirement portfolios – comparing barbecue pits – and more. Our society tends to focus on who is bestwho has the biggest boat or house – or some other material – temporal thing.

Today’s passage suggests that we should only boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Galatians 6:11–18 – 11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! 12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 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. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Almost everything we boast about – things we compare and take some satisfaction in – are temporal – here today and gone tomorrow. We’re in Master’s week and Tiger Woods once was all that – but now – they are barely talking about him. In much of the world – it isn’t what we have done – but what we have done recently or currently. Our boasting is so temporal. It will not follow us to the grave dear readers. In all of the funerals I have celebrated – I have never seen a Brinks truck following the hearse to the graveyard with our money or toys or trophies.

In today’s passage – Paul is saying some were even boasting about their circumcision – or about getting new believers – many of them Gentiles – to be circumcised. Paul suggests that these things do not matter. Paul writes that what matters the most is the cross of Christ. We’re told to boast only in the cross – and the power of God’s saving grace. If we must boast – let us do so in Christ.

Please pray for a group of men from our church who will be going into prison at the end of the month to bring Jesus to other men in need. For some – they will receive Jesus for the first time. For some – they will have their faith ignited and they will come away a changed person. For all – our hope is that they will encounter Christ. Boast in Christ (not in the fact that we are saved but that Christ loved us enough to die for us to save us).

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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April 12, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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