Sunday, November 17, 2013
How Does My Life Measure Up to What God Wants?
2Cor. 10:13 We, however, will not boast beyond limits, but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you.
2Cor. 10:14 For we were not overstepping our limits when we reached you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the good news of Christ.
2Cor. 10:15 We do not boast beyond limits, that is, in the labors of others; but our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged,
2Cor. 10:16 so that we may proclaim the good news in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in someone else’s sphere of action.
2Cor. 10:17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Paul was very careful when it came to boasting about his work or success. He understood that each person was simply accountable to God for the work they were called to do. He also knew that he was to be responsible before God for his places of ministry and therefore he did not try to take credit for any one else’s work. He knew the places of his responsibility and where he was to cultivate the faith of new believers, but then also understood that the growth that occurred was because of God’s activity in the hearts and lives of those new believers. He didn’t need to go and spread the Gospel in parts of the world where others were already doing that work. He could rejoice in the fact that as a team they were spreading the good news about Jesus. There was no need to boast over work done in a particular territory because none of this was done in the power or strategic thinking of a particular individual. Instead, if anyone was going to boast or be proud of the work that they had done, they were only to boast in the Lord.
Our world is driven by models of success, but the problem is that the worlds’ business models of success should not be what drives our faithfulness to God. Instead the only question we need to concern ourselves about is, “How does my life measure up to what God wants?”
God wanted Paul to travel the known world and tell people about Jesus Christ. While Paul may have appeared to be “successful” — he knew that his life had to measure up to what God wanted for him and it seemed crazy to boast about what he viewed as simple obedience. For Paul, this was a daily journey, serving God in faithfulness and boasting only of the Lord.
God is the one who is leading us and working in and through us. This is what we need to remember. Therefore, if we are going to boast about anything, may it be the fact that God has taken unqualified human beings and used them to make a difference in his kingdom. Who in the world was Paul? Who was Peter? Who was Mary Magdalene? Who were Mary, Martha and Lazarus? And the list goes on and on and on. Often those whom God chose to make a difference were the ordinary people who lived at the margins and through them God was glorified.
We are created to be reflections of the Image. If that is so, then it is Christ who is to be seen in us and through us. We are not to boast in the things we have done, but we are to point a people to Jesus. If you want to boast — boast in what Jesus is doing and then ask yourself whether you are measuring up to what God wants in your life.
Lord, may you be glorified in my life today. Amen.