March 01, 2016

Boasting in the Cross

Galatians 6:12-18

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 6:14

Nobody likes a boaster or bragger. Boasting is self-centered. It shows that we think we’re better than others. When we boast, we’re obsessed with ourselves and our accomplishments. But we all do it. Parents boast about their kids. Athletes boast about their awards. Students boast about their grades.

Paul boasted too. But what made his boasting unusual was that he boasted about something completely outside himself: the cross of Christ. He was obsessed with Jesus and his work on the cross. Paul had many things that he could boast about, such as his heritage and his careful obedience to the law. But he realized that the cross of Christ was his only real reason to boast. Only that could give him eternal life.
If we’re looking for something to boast about, let it be the cross of Jesus. The cross marks a new beginning for us with God. It’s where our sins were put to death. It’s where our forgiveness was secured. It sets a new direction for our life with new pleasures, passions, and pursuits—a life lived for God.

When our boast is in the cross and what Jesus accomplished for us there, we’ll have a good start at staying near the cross. Let this be our prayer this month: “Jesus, keep me near the cross.”

Lord Jesus, you gave your life on the cross to pay for our sins and to give us new life. As we journey through Lent, help us ­never to stray from the cross. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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