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That They May Boast In You Filling Their Pews




"As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh." Galatians 6:12 "That they may boast in your flesh …" In Paul's day the "Juda-izers" opposed his message and made every effort to influence people to submit to their way of doing things, their motive being "that they may boast in your flesh." Applying that to today, there are men who want large churches exactly for that reason, "that they may boast in your flesh." Circumstances had it one day, that I was having lunch with two pastors. As they spoke with each other, almost the entire conversation centered around the numbers of people in their respective churches. And this is exactly the point - they judged themselves and each other on that basis. If a lot of people are coming to my church, then I'm doing a great work. If not, I need to see what I can do to improve the numbers. And in this corrupt motivation - the "emergent church" has come upon the scene, emerging as entertainment and people-pleasing ...for the sake of numbers, the pride of man striving to achieve large congregations - to bolster their pride. Friends, we are so human, aren't we? How easily we forget that we are called to a work prepared for us FROM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, a work determined by Christ for each one he has called. Be assured, he was not thinking of numbers, he was thinking of the specific work he has called each one to - whether it be popular or not. If the Lord has you minister to one person and one only, it is required of you to accept that. Otherwise, you're "going to do it my way" and miss the whole intent Jesus had for you. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 Consider this: whoever was the pastor whose message brought Billy Graham to the Lord - at the time that pastor had no idea how Billy Graham was going to reach the world for Christ. He just preached the message as he always did, and on that particular day the Lord meant it for Mr. Graham. We never know, brothers and sisters, how our lives and our works affect others, and it's a very good thing that we don't know - lest we fall into the deadly sin of pride and base our works not in the will of God, but in such a way to attract souls to ourselves and totally miss it. Paul continues: vs 14: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." To be crucified is to surrender all to Christ - all! It is to take the attitude, "Lord, have your way in my life and work it out according to YOUR purposes." And it should be added, "Protect me from basing my evaluation of my life or my work on myself, for it is YOU who prepared the works you would have me do - prepared from before the foundation of the world." Here is an excellent testimony of a man being used by God in an incredibly powerful way, without ever knowing it until he was at the end of his life: