Here’s a joke I read recently on the internet: A pastor came up with an idea to test his membership, so one Sunday morning he stepped out dressed as Satan. Everyone ran out except a man named Bob. The pastor (dressed as Satan) walked up to him and said: “Sir don't you know who I am?” Bob replied: “Yes sir I do.” Then he asked Bob “Aren't you afraid of me?” Bob answered: “Not anymore.” “Why not?” replied the pastor (dressed as Satan). Bob answered: “Because I've been married to your sister for twenty years.” Please don’t get upset ladies, its just a joke. We all know that the devil in a marriage can also be the husband. I only started with that corny fabrication because it seems that lately, more than before, I’ve heard some people, including Christians, who claim they are not afraid of anything or anybody, not even the devil himself.
Some of you may remember that last week I wrote about “respecting” anything or anyone who has or represents power or authority. I say this grudgingly, but even though he is a defeated foe in many ways, the devil still has enough power to qualify as a respected adversary. It is beyond foolish, therefore, to go around boasting that we’re not afraid of him or anybody else. In fact, anybody who does it is just inviting trouble. To begin with, everyone is afraid of something or someone, even if they deny it. Secondly, God detests this type of attitude. I was reading again the story of Gideon recently and, to me, one of the outstanding features of the account is when the Lord commanded Gideon to start whittling down the size of his army. The Lord told him: “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me saying, ‘My own strength has saved me’.” (Judges 7:2)
Many centuries have come and gone since the days of Gideon. Still, many people, including Christians, are always claiming, or at least implying, that they are the reason for their own success. How often have we heard someone who has just been blessed or has had a special prayer petition answered, imply that it was because of something they did? They may include their tithing, helping others, faithful church attendance, long prayer sessions, bible reading, etc.. All these are good things but they are really part of our Christian duty. Teaching about the master/servant relationship, Jesus told His Disciples: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10) People who boast about everything they do for God are really trying to rob Him of His glory. God will be always be pleased when His children honor Him by serving Him wholeheartedly, but He will never be impressed by our good deeds or holy living. Lets remember that it is because of God’s grace and mercy that we are constantly blessed and lets be careful that we don’t give others the impression that God blesses us because we deserve it.
God’s word for today: (1 Corinthians 1:31) “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”