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Boast in the Lord

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God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

1 Corinthians 1:28-29

Jesus selected his apostles, who were fisherman, tax collectors, and a zealot. Christ doesn’t look at the outer appearance or the worldly status of a person.  Instead, he looks at the heart because the heart reveals the motivation for everything we do in life.  We are not saved by works, but we are saved by what motivates us to do the good works.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10) The difference between not being saved by our works and created to do good works is the motivation in our hearts. The Lord is changing us to serve him with a humble heart that is motivated by dependence on Christ. A heart filled with God’s unconditional sacrificial agape love. A heart that boasts in the Lord, giving him all the glory.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6) A prideful heart is a self-centered heart, while a humble heart is a Christ-centered heart. A Christian depends on Christ, lives to serve Christ, and realizes they are nothing without Christ. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6) This verse describes someone who thinks they are saved by works.  With a heart of love, all good works become the desire of our hearts and they are not considered works, but they describe who we are in Christ.

How do we get God’s Word from our minds into our hearts? We follow the Holy Spirit by being a light in this word, personally bringing Christ to everyone, and reflecting Jesus. Doing this starts with discipline to be obedient to the Word, and over time we see ourselves as the Lord’s servant. The Lord continues to fill our hearts with his love making it the desire of our hearts. A heart focused on self is changed to a heart focused on God and others, as God fills our hearts with his love. We can never be free in Christ until we are free from self.

Today, boast in the Lord, giving him all the glory with a thankful heart. Pray for a heart of love and for the opportunity to tell someone about Christ. Live this day seeking to serve the Lord in everything you think, say or do.

Prayer: Lord, continue to fill my heart with your love and guide me in the Spirit to tell others about salvation in Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.