Boast in God's Name
Are you boastful? It's one thing to be firm in your belief and use it as a grounds for everything that you do, but another to pity people and critique what they do and believe. Everyone is made unique in God's image, but this also means we're all different, and have stubborn opinions that tend to be unwavering. There is a fairly straightforward understanding of right and wrong, and a good moral compass. Think about that person you discussed religion with, debating Baptist and Catholic beliefs. Is it better to listen and try to understand one another, learn from one another, or to argue and ignore personal understandings? God calls us all to belong, to grow and learn from one another, including all people in His plan. Do you include others in your life?
Today's First Reading states:'Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain"; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin'(James 4:13-17).
In today's reading, we hear about how all boasting is evil, unless it is boasting in the goodness of God. If we boast about God's love for us, and the love God has for each and every person, we can't go wrong. This is important to remember when entering into religious debate and discussion as well, that only God knows all, loving us so much as to sacrifice His Son on the cross. God calls us all together, and so we should boast about His goodness and love for all people, drawing others into communion no matter their personal beliefs. Take some time to ask God to help bring religions towards greater discussion and understanding.
Today's prayer comes from 'crosswalk' a prayer for knowing your identity in Christ:
Lord, I pray that You would unlock my heart that I might be fully alive to my true identity in You. Give me clear revelation to see myself the way You see me. Help me to stand in Your truth against all enemy attacks and guard my heart with all vigilance (Proverbs 4:23). Help me to identify the lies, and reveal to me any places where I am chained to the past in a negative way. I repent of any lies of the past. [Name those lies and ask God to forgive you.] Teach me to hear Your voice and not believe the enemy’s destructive lies about who I am. I thank You for my uniqueness and that I am made in Your image (Genesis 1:27). I want to understand and feel the deep things in Your heart for me (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). I choose to believe the truth about how You see me. I thank You that I can hope in the future and believe in the good destiny that You have for me. You have vision for my future. Help me to live a fruitful life now and overflow with Your love to others. Give me greater authority in my prayer life. I want to know You on a deeper level, and I don’t want anything to hinder my relationship with You. I thank You that [Say your name instead of “I”]: I am Your child (John 1:12), I have been justified (Romans 5:1), I am Your friend (John 15:15), I belong to You (1 Corinthians 6:20), I am a member of Your body (1 Corinthians 12:27), I have been established, anointed, and sealed by You (2 Corinthians 1:21-22), I am a citizen of heaven(Philippians 3:20), I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3), I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11), I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14) I am adopted as Your child (Ephesians 1:5), I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9; 3:11), I have hope (Ephesians 1:12),I am included (Ephesians 1:13), I am an overcomer (1 John 4:4), I am protected (John 10:28), I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), I am qualified to share in Your inheritance (Colossians 1:12), I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), I am safe (1 John 5:18), I am part of Your Kingdom (Revelation 1:6), I can understand what Your will is (Ephesians 5:17), I have God's power (Ephesians 6:10), and I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57). Thank You for this new identity I have in You. Help me to live out this truth in my life every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.