March 26th, 2007
At the time, things like cars and houses and academic qualifications seem to be valuable, but if you really understand who Jesus is and what a difference he can make in your life, why are you going to waste your time worrying about them. They are absolutely nothing compared with what Jesus can do for you. As Paul said in today’s reading, “I count everything as worthless in the light of the immeasurable value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have lost everything and consider it garbage, in order to gain Christ and be found in him.”
Paul’s Letter to the Philippians — Chapter 3
3:1 Finally, friends, rejoice in the Lord. It is no problem for me to write the same things to you again, and it makes things certain for you. 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evildoers, beware of the mutilators. 3:3 We are the real circumcision, the ones who worship God in the Spirit and take pride in Christ Jesus, and don’t put our trust in the flesh, 3:4 although I could do so if I wanted to. If any other man thinks that he can put his trust in the flesh, I can do better: 3:5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew with Hebrew parents, a Pharisee with regard to the law, 3:6 a zealous persecutor of the church, and a faultless follower of the righteousness which is in the law.
3:7 All of these things seemed to be earning me merit, but I now count them as worthless for Christ. 3:8 Moreover, I count everything as worthless in the light of the immeasurable value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have lost everything and consider it garbage, in order to gain Christ 3:9 and be found in him. I have no righteousness of my own through obeying the law. My righteousness is through faith in Christ, coming from God by faith, 3:10 based on knowing him and the power of his resurrection, sharing in his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death, 3:11 if I can somehow be resurrected from the dead. 3:12 I am not saying that I have already received all this, or have already become perfect, but I keep trying to seize these things, just as I was seized by Christ Jesus.
3:13 Friends, I don’t consider myself to be there yet, but I concentrate on one thing. I forget about anything in the past, and stretch forward to the things which are ahead. 3:14 I aim towards the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 3:15 Those of us who are mature should all think this way. If you think differently, God will make it clear to you. 3:16 But we should keep following the path that we’ve been following. 3:17 Friends, do what I do, and learn from those who live according to the example which you have in us. 3:18 As I often told you, and now say it through tears, many people live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 3:19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their belly, and they revel in disgrace, thinking only about earthly things. 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are waiting for a Saviour to come from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 3:21 He will transform our humble bodies so that they are like his glorious body, by the power which enables him to have authority over everything.
Entry Filed under: Hope