7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
In this passage, Paul has reminded us that the most significant gain in life is knowledge. A knowledge that every selfish pursuit up to this point in life is an absolute dung heap that leads to the trash. Everything done in my vanity and pride is utter waste. Anything that I do to bring me salvation or righteousness is futile. Only with my faith in God and my belief in Christ will I be saved and made right with God. And as I grow in my knowledge of God and in my conformity to be Christ-like, I will be conformed to His death to attain the resurrection from the dead. I can know Christ and the power of His resurrection, but I must also know the fellowship of His sufferings.
What am I trying to gain in this life? Do I need more money, or do I need a bigger house? What is the best car I buy? When can I get the next most fantastic cell phone coming out? How much stuff can I acquire in a lifetime? What is the number of trips I can squeeze in before I die? Is there a magic number that I can reach in my bank account to say, “finally, I have enough?” Why do we pursue these things in our life that will never bring fulfillment? Maybe we feel we have lost something. Could we be trying to feel valuable or significant before we die?
We want to know we mattered in that dash between our birth date and death date. Our problem is that we were born with a God-sized hole in us on that birth date. And we do our best to earn something that will fill that hole. Our more significant problem in filling that hole is our lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and our boastful pride of life; we avoid the One who could fill that hole.
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I came to a point in life where I accepted the saving grace of a Holy God. And from that point on, I am being conformed to Christlikeness. Every day means I should look a little more like Jesus than the day before. And instead of counting wins and losses by what I think I should or shouldn’t have, I need to see life through the lens of Christ. If that means I must give up some luxury in my life because it means I will draw closer to Jesus, so be it.
When I draw close, I get to know God more. I want the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. And whatever I think I lost in the process of following Him is not losing at all. Knowing Christ is living as He did. I can’t take anything with me when I die except the knowledge that I will be in His presence. How am I going to live my life in this dash? Trying to earn something, or living with the hope of Jesus in me?
Father, we are prideful selfish people. We vainly attempt to find worthless substitutes for a Mighty God. Clutter, activities, and provision fill our eyes and minds to the point that we can’t see you anymore. Get the things out of our way so that our relationship and knowledge of Christ become our life priority. Amen.