Philippians 3:8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
There seem to be moments when Paul becomes so filled with the idea of Christ that he has to share his passion again and again. There is nothing else in life that even comes close to knowing Christ. The things that he used to value — his reputation, prestige and education — they count as nothing in comparison to participating in Christ and becoming like him.
Paul’s theology informs his life and practice. He believes in the transformational work of Jesus Christ and he doesn’t just believe it — he lives into it. The result is a man who has discovered that above all else in the world there is nothing compared to knowing “Christ and the power of his resurrection.” As a result he is willing to sharing in his sufferings and follow the pathway of Christ in this world, reflecting the love of God. He knows that in the end he will receive his eternal reward but the participation in the eternal has already begun in knowing Christ.
If there is anything in life that takes precedence over knowing Christ then we are in trouble. Anything else is simply rubbish in Paul’s words.
We certainly don’t like keeping stockpiles of garbage around us — do we? Think of the smell and the health hazards associated with rubbish! And yet, we may be attracted to the things of this world which keep us from knowing the very best that God has for us. When all else becomes important it begins to accumulate, clutter and eventually cause a stink. The overwhelming nature of the rubbish can keep us from seeing Christ and ever getting to know him. The busyness of our lives can keep us from sharing in the life of Christ.
Knowing Christ needs to be the priority of our lives. This is an invitation into a deeply intimate space with our Lord where his heart becomes our heart, his passions our passions, resulting in every sphere of our lives moving in harmony with the direction in which he leads. Once we begin to experience the pull of his gracious and holy love there will be desire for nothing more. There really is nothing else in comparison to him!
Lord, please help me to know you more and more each day. Thank you for your power and presence. Amen.
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