For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.
Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do… It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!
(Galations 6.14&15, The Message)
“..not what you and I do.. It is what God is doing”, and what He is doing is glorious! Over the past few days, people all around the world who believe in Jesus as the son of God and their saviour from the power of sin, have been taking time to celebrate his death and resurrection. It has been a special time for meditating and rejoicing, praising God for his indescribable mercy and love towards us.
We believe that because of Jesus, the brokenness in our world, which goes like a fault line through every human heart, is being healed and will one day be gloriously wiped away for ever. We, who are powerless to save ourselves, crippled by sin and yet so blinded by pride in our own achievements that we think ourselves worthy of God’s approval; even we, are offered a fresh start. As Paul said in his letter to the Galatian church, we are liberated to live as new creatures, under the mercy and love of God.
What joy to know that it is not my own moral life, good deeds, carefully-controlled thoughts and desires which have to earn my place in eternal life – because I know full well that I am weak and wavering, so that even on my best days, I fall far short of perfection. What a relief, that I do not have to pretend to anyone that I am confident in my own worthiness and abilities – because I have no illusions about my strengths and weaknesses, and know how unreliable I am.
Instead, I have the privilege of boasting in and relying on Jesus, whose mercy and love are precious beyond telling, and beautiful beyond describing. His death, for me, is my sole claim to peace with God now and eternal life hereafter. I take a fierce delight in this, because he deserves so much more praise and boasting than I can ever give, I cannot ever overdo it! I can affirm his greatness and worthiness against all opposition, and know that I am on firm ground. Many may not like what I believe, many will dismiss it as foolishness or be offended by it, but I will boast in Jesus Christ and his all-surpassing power to save.
In him, my weaknesses are a vehicle for his strength to be displayed.
In him, my struggles and trials are a window for the world to see his power to comfort and sustain me.
In him, my life of small duties and responsibilities becomes a thing of great beauty, where every act of mercy and service is worthwhile, and no effort is wasted.
In him, my heart finds joy because of his great love, and each day brings so many love-gifts to make me glad.
In him, I know that true justice rests, and I have no need to pursue revenge.
In him, I know the power of forgiveness in my life, and am strengthened to forgive others.
In him, my heart delights, and I know that he is changing me from one degree of glory to another as he transforms me into his own likeness, so that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control become who I am.
In him, my soul finds rest, because it is all his doing, and his goodness and mercy will be my companions all the days of my life.
Let us rejoice in Jesus, let us boast of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, let us praise him and exalt him, and rest completely in his all-encompassing and complete salvation.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!