Taking a Loss
Verse 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
We all have things in our lives that we regret and that we see as things that got us off track for the life we wanted. Paul continues talking about how his being so righteous in the view of the religious leaders hindered him at first in the cause of Christ.
It was necessary for the people of Philippi to know the danger of falling into the trap of trusting their good works of obedience for the righteousness of Christ. We need to remember the same thing. It is so easy for us to get so used to obeying the laws we know God desires us to obey that we forget why we are to obey. We think we are doing Him good by being the good people we know we are supposed to be. Unfortunately what we forget is that it isn’t about us and our works.
The fight against letting our obedience turn into thinking we are working for our salvation is a serious fight. It requires us intentionally keeping our focus off of ourselves and firmly planted on our Savior. It is constantly remembering the way He came, leaving all that was His in Heaven, to live as a human where He could feel the hurts that we feel and know the pains that come through broken relationships. And all this so that He could heal the most important relationship we will ever have. The one we have with Him.
Paul had done everything he knew to do to keep right with God before coming to know Christ in a personal way. He followed every law that was known to the Jewish people and was so diligent that he fought against anything that came along that spoke against the truths he taught and followed. Christianity became the biggest threat to his thinking and beliefs and therefore it had to be destroyed.
But that thinking all changed when he met Christ. Christ set Paul’s thinking right. Once Paul understood that Christ was the fulfillment of the law. Everything that Paul had thought made him someone to be admired came to be realized as nothing when he compared it to what he had with Christ. He knew that he could never do what was required to meet the law. But Christ gave His all. Paul was no longer a worker for his own kingdom but was a slave for the Kingdom of Christ.
Making It Personal
Which kingdom are you working for? Do your daily activities reflect your answer to that question? What needs to change?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to work for Jesus’ Kingdom? What are something's that you can do that are for Jesus? What are you going to do for Him today?
Father, we need to remember that nothing lost for Your kingdom is truly lost. Help us remember that You gave up everything so that we can gain everything through You. In Jesus’ name, amen.