Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good morning -

Carefully choose your bragging rights. It's a lot more than whether your Dad can beat up my Dad, or who has the bigger house, nicer car, or larger income. The challenge is to brag about the right things.

"Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Wisdom, strength and wealth are ultimately not worthy of "bragging rights"; only knowing the Lord is. And yet how the world mocks such priorities! "I have a higher college degree than you ... I'm stronger than you are ... I've got more money than you ... I know the Lord". Can you just imagine how the conversation in a room would stop at the mention of knowing the Lord? Such a "boast" would be met with blank stares and ultimately ridicule.

If we dare to be brutally honest with ourselves we'll pause to consider that which we truly boast about. I'd like to think that my boasting is about knowing the Lord but the uncomfortable truth may be that I boast more about what I can do, or what I know, or who I know. I might even brag more about knowing God's Word than the Lord Himself.

If I truly know the Lord then I know that He "exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth" and delights in these things. Not only will I know that but I will also participate with Him in carrying out these great purposes. This knowledge again drives me to pray the familiar words that Jesus taught us to pray: "Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven". Knowing the God who "exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth" is participating today in advancing the kingdom of tomorrow. The future kingdom - characterized by lovingkindness, justice and righteousness - will have a bearing today on my life and the lives of those around me if I truly know the Lord.

Carefully choose your bragging rights. The world screams out the ones that it thinks we should claim; the Lord whispers His in the stillness if we are quiet enough to hear. Take time today to tune out the shouting of the world long enough to hear the quiet voice of the Lord.

Working' on braggin' on the Lord today,

Pastor Steve


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