Dec 4, 2016

Devotion for 4 December - Christmas Shopping

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  Today is the second of four Advent sermons where we will explore “Christmas” as an adjective instead of a noun.
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 (English Standard Version)
12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence.17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends
Devotion: Christmas Shopping
When we go shopping for that perfect present for Christmas, we are looking for the best deal or terms we can get—comparison shopping. In the days before the internet (Amazon, e-bay, etc) we might cover a lot of miles or look at a bunch of catalogues to compare the deals we could get. These days, comparison shopping, using the internet, is a lot more convenient although it sometimes takes a lot of mouse clicks to get an apple-to-apple [pardon the pun, if you are thinking about buying a certain brand of PC] comparison. Comparisons can sometimes get us in trouble, though. In today’s Epistle, Paul is admonishing the church at Corinth to stop comparing themselves to one another.  He was also critical of their boasting about their abilities or accomplishments even in church work. Paul is reminding us that boasting, referred to here as “self-commendation” is not Christian-like.  I will offer that boasting about, or lifting up, another person’s talent or accomplishments is a great way to build up the Kingdom. Commendation on a job well done by ourselves should not come from ourselves.  Friends, the commendations we will receive for our church work come from God and they consist of our many blessings and the fruits of our ministry.

We pray: Lord grant that our boasting be only about others.  Amen