The apostle Paul once persecuted Christians.  God still used him.  Fully aware of his past, but also living in the present of God’s love in mercy because Paul believed in Jesus’ death and resurrection, becomes the most famous Christian missionary ever.  Even though he was an amazing missionary, his braggin’ rights are only because of what God has done and is doing through him.  He puts it this way in a letter to the church in Rome:

17 So in Christ Jesus I brag about things that have to do with God. 18 I don’t dare speak about anything except what Christ has done through me… – Romans 15:17-29 (CEB)

I know most of my short-comings, my faults, my complete imperfections.  And yet, I am also a witness to amazing things God has done through me.  Even though I would like to take credit when things go well, I know things turn out better when it is Christ working in me and through me.  This knowledge leaves me no room to brag, except on God.  So today, following Paul’s example, that’s what I’m doing.  Pointing others to what God is doing in the world.  I have been called to play my part in this, and so have you.

Having just come through Holy Week, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is fresh again in my mind and in my spirit.  The cross is God’s ultimate symbol of love.  The resurrection is the proof and the promise of life over death, the power of God, the love God has for us, and is also an invitation to love in return.

The death and resurrection of Jesus is similar to a love note in elementary school that reads something like this, “I love you.  Do you love me?  Check yes, no, or maybe.”  The cross leave no doubt that God loves you, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God has always and still loves you.  The only question is how will you respond to God’s unconditional love for you?  Will you check yes, no, or maybe?  Will you be a vessel, a mouth-piece, an ambassador for God, that speaks to the world of God’s love and mercy?  That’s how you love in return.

What’s your part?  (You may not feel like it, but you do have a part in this!  Team Jesus is better with you!)

How and to whom can you brag about God today?  Who can you share God’s love with today?  Who in your life simply needs to know that God loves them?  How can you be a vessel, carrying the message of God’s love and mercy to others today?  Simply look around and share what God is doing in your life – helping you through hard times, blessing you, brining creation back to life…it is Spring.

Prayer:  Lord, you love me.  Give me the courage to love you back.  To go where you would have me go.  Speak through me, use me.  Make me an instrument of your peace.  I brag on you today.  You have done so much for me and my family.  This is your world, your kingdom, I’m blessed to be a part of it.  Use me as you wish to build up your kingdom, to spread the news of your love, your life, your death, and your resurrection.  Amen.