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Boasting Before God
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In our devotion to God, it is easy to make “I will” statements. Promises easily proceed from our lips without much thought behind the words. The intentions are not necessarily bad; however, apart from grace, the words will be empty. In fact, it may very well be boasting before God. Without God's grace, we are incapable of doing the things of the Spirit. Even Peter was caught off guard after telling Jesus he would never deny Him (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75). Perter did not yet have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, since he was not born-again at that time. After he was endued with power from on High on the day of Pentecost, Peter became very bold in Christ Jesus. He did indeed die for Jesus, but not in his own strength.
Even with the Holy Spirit, Peter did falter; although, he was corrected by the Apostle Paul (see Scripture below). As long as Peter was led of the Holy Spirit, he did very well. While we purpose to do well before God, we must be connected to the Holy Spirit to be successful. We must align with the will of God and walk by faith to have results. Since, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), we need to listen to the voice of God in order to make effective statements. Like Jesus, we say what we hear the Father speak. This way we speak as oracles of God and minister in the way He enables us. 1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
If we boast, we should boast in God and about God. When it comes to your future, beware of the “I will” statements. Anything separate from, “If the Lord wills,” is boasting (James 4:13-16). If God says so, then we can say so. In the end, He gets all the glory. If we say things like, “I will follow you all of my days,” it may serve us well to add the “by Your grace” clause. The bottom line is do not attempt it in your own strength; otherwise, your words become empty promises. One point to clarify here. We all must make the deep down conscious decision to follow God and our choices should correspond to that decision. Nonetheless, the follow through is always going to be by His grace. He called us by His Holy Spirit, so it begins with Him.
Galatians 2:11-16 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; so that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel you the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15. We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
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