Monday, April 16, 2012

Bragging Rights by Martin Wiles

She was doing it again. I was proud but also a little embarrassed.

Mom was “hawking.” “My oldest son has published three books.” “He writes for…” and follows with a list of magazines, newspapers, blogs, periodicals and websites. Most of them she gets right. A few she mispronounces and jumbles up. Occasionally I correct her; usually I don’t. I just let her hawk. Mom has three sons, and she’s proud of each one. So she brags and we blush. It’s been going on so long we accept it as the norm. Regardless of our mistakes, she still shines when she sings our praises.

God does too. Jesus left the region of Galilee and headed for the Jordan River where John the Baptist was baptizing. Despite John’s objection, Jesus requested baptism. As Jesus came out of the water, a voice from heaven said; This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17)

Imagine that-“well pleased” by the God of the universe. Jesus was God’s Son, but he learned obedience the same way we do-through trials and temptations and by attending the school of hard knocks. Before he even begins his earthly ministry, the Father pronounces him loved, and when he accomplishes his mission Jesus proudly says, “It’s finished.” God brags and Jesus shines.

God brags on believers too. We are classified friends through faith in Jesus Christ. He even takes it a step farther and says we’re sons and daughters. He loves us unconditionally through foibles and false starts, disciplines us when we get off track, accepts us when we return from prodigal trips, and promises a beautiful eternal home when we finish our earthly course.

God loves bragging on his children, and our position and practice make it possible. Unlike my mom, he always gets the facts straight-I’m his child and a work in progress. Like my mom, he brags even when I take side roads away from his plan or practice attitudes and actions he doesn’t approve.

Position yourself properly so God can brag on you.

Prayer: Merciful God, we acknowledge all our accomplishments as gifts from You.

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