...if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God...
Thoughts for Today:I met a young man last summer who redefined the term "braggadocio" (Encarta Dictionary: empty boasting and swaggering self-aggrandizement). It seemed no matter what the subject or activity he was an expert and had done it all -- only better. If talk was about ski jumps, he recounted going off a hundred meter jump in Saint Moritz last winter and "stuck the landing" (he didn't crash); if the discussion went to white water rafting, he talked of class six rapids (highest level) he had accidently entered by canoe and navigated with ease. I thought, "For a twenty year old kid, you sure have some colorful experiences." I also wondered how much it was real versus invented.
The conversation then turned to wakeboarding -- which of course he was expert at as well, and had recently received offers by unnamed sponsors to turn pro. Since it was summer in Idaho I just happened to have my boat docked behind the house -- I offered to take him wakeboarding with me the following day and perhaps he could provide some pointers. He just looked at me. Finally, after a little gentle prodding and urging by my friends (who were the parents of his girlfriend), he reluctantly agreed to go. Let me suffice it to say we were all less than impressed.
I think this is what Paul is speaking about in our passage today: If you are going to brag about something -- you better be able to demonstrate it. Clearly Paul was less than impressed with the evidence of God demonstrated in the Jews lives. He will soon be asking them: "Where's the fruit?" Scripture is the promise of a relationship with God, but where's the proof?
Questions to Ponder:Paul writes in Galatians 6:14, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." In other words, Paul's vision was changed when he saw the world through the prism of the cross. Have you looked at your life lately through the cross of Jesus? Does your life reflect the abundance of the Lord? Is it empty boasting or is God's love demonstrated to and through you?