Posts Tagged boasting
Explain his lengthy portfolio of sufferings away, you who dare propagate the demonic prosperity gospel leading so many astray today! One clear promise of the Bible, straight from the lips of Jesus, is that “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Likewise, the Apostle Peter couldn’t have been any clearer on the lot of those who choose to “take up their cross, deny themselves daily, and follow” Jesus: “Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
Below is the resume of the saint Chuck Swindoll once called “a man of grit and grace.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness” (Phil 3:8-9 MSG).
I remember moving in my college dorm room 11 years ago almost to the day. I came with all the usual freshman boy belongings: stereo, over-sized speakers, posters of my favorite bands, disco ball, computer, TV, old sofa and some clothing. I had smuggled one other item into a box and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. What was it?
It was an 8 x 11 red-plated, wooden trophy plaque I had been given at my basketball banquet just months prior. The plaque was engraved with the proud message:
Mound Westonka High School Basketball
All Time Leading Scorer
This plaque was of enormous significance for me as I ventured into a new world of uncertainty and new relationships. This plaque spoke to a big part of my personal identity I had formed in high school. In high school I was not just Jeremy Berg. I was Jeremy Berg the star basketball player. I was Jeremy the 3-point shooter. I was Jeremy the all time leading scorer of my high school (until my record was surpassed by the great Rachel Foley the following year; hey at least I still hold the boy’s record).
I was a relatively quiet and modest person. I didn’t go around telling the college campus of my high school achievements on the court. But I secretly wanted the other guys on the floor to just happen to glance up on my shelf and happen to see my plaque partly hidden behind another photo and ask, “Hey, you must have been a pretty good baller in high school.” Read the rest of this entry »
“We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book. The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ.” (Phil 3:5-7 MSG).
Paul had all the proper religious credentials to be admired and respected as a holy, devout religious man. The religious circles he hung around desired to be as “spiritual” as Paul. He hung around the right people while avoiding the wrong. He was raised in an upright religious family. He went through all the right rituals, knew the answers to all the religious questions, was a bold defender of his faith and won every Bible debate. He would have held the equivalent of a PhD in Bible & Theology had he lived today. Paul was a religious teacher par excellence and stout defender of the faith.
And he was completely amiss when it came to what God had actually been up to in the world in the events surrounding Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection. Paul thought he had all the answers, knew his Bible and was on the right side of the theological fence regarding this prophet named Jesus and the movement he started. But Paul was dead wrong. Read the rest of this entry »