No One Can Boast

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While visiting a gym this past weekend, I noticed a scoreboard on a platform.

Of course, scoreboards are used to keep track of points earned and to display who is the best.

They proclaim who is the winner.

Do you ever try to “measure up” to other people?

It’s easy to consider that someone you know is kinder, smarter or more talented.

You might even think other people are more spiritual or closer to God.

Does your response lead you to try harder to be acceptable?

There is nothing wrong with desiring to be more like Christ.

We can hope to be kinder to those around us, showing them His love.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be closer to God.

But if we think that we must reach a certain level of acceptability to finally achieve God’s approval, we are missing an important truth.

Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

We should want to live our lives the way that He would have us to out of gratitude for what He has done for us, not in order to gain our salvation.

There is no heavenly scoreboard that keeps track of our works, finally declaring one day that we have “won” our  redemption for ourselves.

We are free from that kind of burden.

If this has been a concern for you, consider these words form Ephesians 2:8-9:

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.

Faith.

Not works.

A plan of love from God to us.

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boast

Great Are The Works

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Have you ever noticed……?

What does it mean to notice something?

To give focused attention to it.

To observe it.

To appraise it.

To evaluate it.

God has made everything.

Everything.

The magnificence of His creative work in a flash of  lightning is the same as the magnificence of His creative work in the petals of a flower.

All the works of God are beautiful and majestic, from the tiniest bacteria to the largest nebula in space.

All the works of God are to be noticed.

They are given to us so we can delight in them and in our Creator.

Look around!

Have you ever noticed……?

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Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.

—Psalm 111:2

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No One Can Brag About It

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I’m not very good at it.

In fact, I have never been good at it.

There’s just something that plays against your self-esteem every time a bowling ball rolls straight to the gutter and down the lane to that dark oblivion behind the pins…..

My husband and I had gone to a nice bowling alley with friends.

Time after time, I aimed the heavy orb in the air and then launched it toward the ten club shaped targets before me.

Had they been alive, there would’ve been little cause for their alarm….

One of our friends proved quite good at the task.

He actually got five strikes in a row.

By the end of the evening, he had gotten seven all together.

He had something to boast about, but, being kind about it all, he didn’t.

I’m glad that my skill at any given thing is not the basis for my relationship with God.

There’s nothing I can do to earn His love and forgiveness.

I can’t work my own entrance into Heaven someday.

It would be impossible to live a “five strikes in a row” life and then be good enough for God.

No.

It doesn’t work that way.

Listen to what these scriptures tell us:

 We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness that saved you.)  God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him.  He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come.  God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.

—Ephesians 2:5-10

It’s not about what we’ve done or what we will do.

It’s not about how much we get right or how good we are.

We can’t brag about earning our relationship with God.

It’s all about God’s love for us.

It’s all about Jesus and His gift of life….

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