October 8, 2021

Jeremiah 9:23-24 
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

In middle school, some friends took me to an event at their church. It was a special appearance of John Jacobs and The Power Team. If you didn’t grow up in the 80s or early 90s, it’s really worth a trip down the YouTube rabbithole to see what they were all about. Check out the sweet padded uniforms and spectacle here. They took everything that was quintessentially 80s and made it about Jesus. The event was flashy, loud, included pyrotechnics, and a whole lot of yelling. In a nutshell, a dozen gigantic men broke bricks, boards, and bats interspersed with rock music and shouted testimonies of God’s goodness. They ripped phone books in half and broke free of handcuffs to demonstrate God’s power to break off the chains of addiction and fear.
I’m not here to judge John Jacobs and The Power Team. I had their poster on my wall for several years and found them inspiring. But contrast who they were with the way God describes himself in verse 24. He exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness. Kindness is not very flashy. Righteousness often goes unnoticed or unrewarded. Yet these are the very things God wants us to understand about who he is. When we know him—when we know the ways he brings transformation—then we are free to boast. Ironically, people who know God in that way are usually the last to boast in the way one might boast about riches or strength.
Instead, their boasts begin to look a lot more like praise (as we discussed on Wednesday). This week, look for the God who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on you and on those around you. Let it be a new source of praise in your conversations with him.
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