Lent #4

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  — Galatians 6:12-15
What makes you proud? What is that one thing that makes you quick to tell someone because you are so proud? Maybe it’s a new job, or your family’s new home, or the accomplishments of a child or grandchild. Maybe you finally concluded that long-sought college degree. We all have those things of which we are most proud.
Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians, which we are studying Sunday mornings, to certain Christians who had commenced their spiritual life with faith in Jesus, but then were told by others that Paul’s message of grace was incomplete and probably should be rejected. Author and pastor Mel Lawrenz offers this:
 “They taught that it is not enough to believe in Jesus and follow him; you must also continue to observe those hundreds of regulations in the Old Testament. Even if you are a Gentile, you should still observe the dietary laws, the sacrifices, and circumcision, they said. Paul saw this as a spiritual emergency, and he wrote this letter to warn these believers not to be bewitched by those legalists. There is one way to God. Let the things in your life that should die, die. Let strivings die, let legalism die, let love for the world die, let personal spiritual pride die. Resign it all, give it all over, let it be crucified as Jesus let himself be crucified, and you will be free. Then we will have something to boast about. “
May we always brag about Jesus Christ. We must proudly shout his name to the world! Then we’ll fill up with a pride not in ourselves, but in him. And we will begin to look at the cross of Calvary and see it as a moment of glory, not shame.

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