Day 15 – January 20
Philippians 3:7-11(NLT) I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
What would make a man call his family heritage, culture heritage, national heritage, racial heritage, religious heritage and moral heritage worthless? Not just worthless but garbage! Everything else is garbage, everything else is worthless, compared to what? Compared to knowing Jesus! Here’s a sobering thought; “Whatever you think is more important than Jesus, you are wrong!”
Paul is unshakable in his declaration and devotion of making his primary pursuit in life, knowing Christ Jesus! What or who is your primary pursuit? What have you counted as garbage so that you may gain the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus? I love the language Paul uses, “Christ Jesus my Lord”. He is clear not only in his love, but also in his submission to Jesus. Our lives can be so crowded with things that we deem as important that it hinders us from pursuing the most important.
If a “to do list” is the first thing that comes to your mind right now, I want you to dig a little deeper. We hear people talk about having your priorities in order, God, family, church etc., but Paul is not talking about sorting out our priorities, he is talking about knowing Jesus! Knowing Jesus in the power of resurrected living and the power to endure suffering. I know, I know, we love the power of resurrection, but we cringe when we hear suffering. Let me remind you, that the suffering is always before the resurrection…
When Christ is your devotion, your pursuit, your passion and when everything else is but garbage, then and only then will you experience the power of resurrected living and the strength to endure suffering. When you know Jesus, you have power, the power to see that His resurrection power always triumphs over pain, fear, death, brokenness, sickness, emotional turmoil, relational conflict, financial strain, anything and everything that is hurtful! But Paul is not talking about our suffering here, he is talking about Christ’ suffering. He is not talking about what Jesus suffered on the cross for us because Christ suffered once for our redemption and we could not pay that price. We receive what Jesus did by faith. There is, however, a fellowship of His suffering. Whatever suffering it takes, we must give up everything that would keep us from doing the perfect will of God!
Are you willing to make Jesus your passion, your pursuit, your life? That means coming to the place where Christ alone is enough… where He is everything, even more than life itself. Are you willing to love Him more than all others? It means loving Christ above all others. More than family! More than husband, wife, children, brother or sister. To love them all, yet inwardly give them up to Him as a sacrifice to your great love for Christ Jesus your Lord!
Do that, and you will break through to the glory of His resurrection power and will conform to his death.
- Pray that you will be able to see the difference between knowing about Christ and truly knowing Christ.
- Ask the Lord to help you build a consistent daily habit of prayer and fellowship with Jesus.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a passionate, vibrant, life giving love and devotion for the will of God in your life. Pray this “Lord, I desire your will, nothing else, nothing more, nothing less.”
- Pray to walk in the power of His resurrection and the willingness to engage in His suffering.