Text: Galatians 6:11-18
Theme: Boasting in Christ and the cross leaves no room to boast in ourselves.
Key verses: “Not even those who are circumcized obey the law yet they want you to be circumcized that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of The Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (v. 13-14). “…let no one cause me trouble for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (v. 17).
What God said to me: Dwayne, this is where you belong–close to me, meditating on my Word, listening closely to my voice. Welcome back. Much has been written as commentary on this famous passage by Paul; yet few grasp the enormity of this statement and the great humility of Paul’s heart as he wrote it. Many religious leaders at that time were perverting the Gospel message and trying to gain prominence from the new-on-the-scene Christian faith. They proudly boasted of those they had swayed to be circumsized; yet they were really cowards who were not willing to stand for the truth of freedom people have in me. Paul, on the other hand, didn’t care what the naysayers thought. He had already demonstated his courage to preach the truth and nothing but the truth–and he wore the scares of persecution to prove it, the “marks of Jesus” as he called them. Son, anything good that has come to you in your life was because of my grace and mercy. The death I suffered has brought you forgiveness and life. Like Paul, you have nothing to brag on within yourself. You have done nothing to deserve one ounce of my love and my presence in your life. Thus, any and all boasting that you ever do should be about me and my sacrifice; it simply can’t be about you and your sinfulness. You don’t have a leg to stand on. You don’t have shred of goodness and value apart from me. Live your life to make much of me–and less of you. Some persecution still lies ahead for you and your family. Bear whatever scars you may endure with humble boasting and gratefulness that you get to suffer for my name’s sake and my glory.
What I said to God: Precious Lord and Savior, great God an King, I do humble myself now under Your almighty hand. Please teach me, illuminate my understanding of how to truly boast in the cross of Christ. I still have a difficult time comprehending the meaning and depth of that idea. Paul only boasted in the cross–everything in his life came down to the cross. That was the junction point, the starting place, the ultimate reason for his life. Help me reach a place in my surrender and in my sanctification process that I truly only want to brag on You–a heart-set that doesn’t even consider my own comfort and convenience. I’m not there yet, far from it. But I know that You who started a good work in me shall continue to perform until the day You return. Hallelujah!
Text: Galatians 6:11-18