Consider it all Loss

Philippians 3:4b If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

One of the primary differences between Christ followers and the rest of the world is in whom we put our confidence. The phrase “self-made man” has always disturbed me. While it suggests a man whose accomplishments are due to nothing but his own hard work and ingenuity, to me it also implies a man who has done everything without putting his trust in God.

Paul addresses this issue in these scriptures brilliantly. Paul first reminds his audience of his pedigree. He was a Jew by birth from the tribe of Benjamin (the same tribe as King Saul), a Roman citizen, a Pharisee, zealous in his persecution of the church and faultless in keeping the law of Moses to attain righteousness. Paul had everything—position, power, authority. Yet, he counted everything he had as rubbish in the face of knowing Christ Jesus as his Lord. Once he received new life in Jesus, his old life had no meaning. He recognized clearly that the only right standing one can have with God comes through God by faith and grace.

Have you counted everything as loss in order to gain the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not, today would be a good day to place your trust not in your own accomplishments, but in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Father, how wonderful it is know that your mercies are fresh every morning, and that we do not have to rely upon ourselves for our salvation. Thank you, Father, for providing the Lamb as the sacrifice for our sins, and for showing us how to rest in You and in the saving grace of Christ Jesus. Amen

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