Reading: Philippians 3:4b-10
Verse 8: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.”
As we begin these two days in Philippians 3 we begin with the battle between God’s ways and the ways of the world. Paul begins today’s verses with all list of credentials. This list would place him in the top 1 or 2% of all religious leaders in Israel. It would be like someone today saying they got their undergrad at Stanford, their masters at Yale, their doctorate at Harvard. And, oh ya, they’re the Super Bowl MVP and have won the world chess championship six years running. As Saul, Paul’s life was built around who he was according to titles and worldly standards. In the church world we build a list like this: haven’t missed a Sunday in four years, read my Bible every day for at least an hour, serve on two committees, have been on six mission trips… All places have boxes to check.
Paul turns the corner in verse 7. He begins by saying, “Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” All those words, all those titles – they were holding him back from really knowing Jesus Christ. In verse 8 he continues, saying, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.” Nothing compares to knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. All these titles, all these credentials, all this box checking – “I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.” Rubbish!
Paul learned that faith and righteousness come not from titles or credentials or checking off boxes. It’s not about who you are. It is all about whose you are. That’s a difficult transition – from who to whose. All around us we hear that who we are matters. So, in our lives, what titles or other “who we are” things limit our relationship with Jesus Christ? He desires to be our Lord and Savior. What do we need to consider as loss for the sake of gaining Christ?
Prayer: Lord God, help me to look within, to see that which I cling to for my identity, for my worth. Give me the courage to strip away the things that I need to in order to know Jesus Christ my Lord better. Amen.