“My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad” Psalm 34:2
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’” Jeremiah 9:23-24
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 10:17
“Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
When man stands next to God, boasting is almost laughable. The only comparison is that God dwarfs us in every way. We think we’re smart; He is omniscient and all wise. We work and train to be strong; He is almighty. We’re smug about being clever, creative, and kind; His vast imagination and deep compassion as Creator of all that is beautiful put our flesh efforts to shame.
But there is a boast the Holy One condones, because it points back to and exalts Him. The only way we can know and understand Him is by way of the cross and its exquisite flesh and blood exhibit of righteousness and justice. Because He died in our place and was resurrected so we might flourish as victors over sin and death, we live and move and have our being in Him in full joy. Therefore, He- our very Life- becomes the true boast of our hearts and days. (Psalm 16:11; John 14:6; Acts 17:23)
“I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.” ~Stuart Townend (1995)
Have I transferred reverence from myself to my God? Look at the cross! What will it take to dethrone my credentials, famous acquaintances, and accomplishments, to lift high my perfect, glorious Savior alone? Look at the cross! Would I bow before Him, hide myself in Him, and boast that in infinite love and grace He has saved me to know and glorify Him?
“When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.” ~Charles Wesley (1707)
Lord, may my only boast in life be in Your death, by which I can know and exalt Your supremacy in this world.