This week’s devotionals are from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
‘It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”’ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
I don’t really follow football but, as I’ve gathered, fans know that if they go to watch their team play, they will be moved emotionally and verbally about how well or poorly their team are playing. Fans know that putting themselves into the stadium will lead to ‘boasting’ (‘exulting’) - depending on the performance of course! We all purposefully put ourselves into different contexts to produce a positive experience: the cinema, a fairground, a concert, with people with love etc. The truth that we all know is that if we want to ‘exult’ in something, we need to put ourselves into the right environment.
Likewise, if we want to boast in Jesus as we should, we need to put ourselves into the right environment. Don’t complain that your love for God and joy in the gospel is weak if you don’t put yourself in a context that will inspire worship!
BOAST IN THE LORD
i) THE TRUTH LEADS TO BOASTING IN JESUS
Firstly, if we want to overflow with joy and gratitude to God, our minds must be filled with the good things of the gospel. Truth sets us free. Lies bind us up. If you want to feel bad, give your mind to lies! If you want to feel better and have renewed appreciation for Jesus, fill your mind with truth.
ii) SONGS THAT BOAST OF CHRIST
I believe that music is a powerful gift from God. It’s designed, principally, to move our emotions with the truth of God. If we listen to music that boasts in ourselves, in hate, in sexual sin… we will be influenced by this. If we fill our minds and sing songs of the cross, we will find that our emotions catch up with this wise choice. We are urged,
‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.’ (Colossians 3:16)
Do you see how the ‘message of Christ’ (Another way of saying to boast in Christ) dwells richly among us through song!
iii) PERSONAL BOASTING
Jesus tells us,
‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:6)
Boasting - praise and worship - is a massive part of private prayer. Do you hear Jesus’ promise to you? The Father will reward your secret prayer! This is great motivation for us. This is not some stingy, exaggerating person who wants to manipulate us! This is our loving Lord Jesus making this promise. Will you and I honestly turn Him down?!
iv) CORPORATE BOASTING
When the church meets, we are to overflow with boasting for Jesus. The message of the cross should be central. If we want to be those who boast in Jesus we need to put ourselves into the context that will inspire us, and the church gathering church is paramount. It’s amazing how often this simple logic is lost. Later in 1 Corinthians we read of the purpose of our gathering,
‘What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.’ (1 Corinthians 14:26)