Scripture has a way of keeping things real. Just when you think you’re doing ok, you’re reminded of how grateful you are that your salvation doesn’t depend on how good you think you’re doing. The Book lets you look in the mirror, see your heart, and know deep down how far you’ve yet to grow. But, gazing into the written word, you also see afresh the Incarnate Word and you’re so thankful of who you are in Christ.
For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
(Philippians 3:3 ESV)
No confidence in the flesh, says Paul. Glorying in Christ alone, says Paul. Worshiping by the Spirit, says Paul. The real circumcision, says Paul. So grateful for that this morning as I’m reminded of how little I know when it comes to writing it off.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ . . .
(Philippians 3:7-8 ESV)
Inspired this morning by Paul. Challenged this morning by Paul. Chewing this morning on the implications of writing stuff off.
In the eyes of the world into which he was born, Paul had been set up for success. According to the law, he was top of the class. Among his peers, well on his way to being somebody. But then he met Jesus.
Rather than just knowing about the promised Messiah, he encountered Him. Got of taste of what it was to not just know about God, but to actually know God. Began to see the future, eternal potential or pursuing the King and his kingdom now. And so, whatever earthly success he might have had, whatever temporal potential might have been within reach, he counted it all as loss. He wrote it off “in order that I might gain Christ.”
Three times he asserts his willingness to let it all go for “the surpassing worth” of knowing the Lord. And I can’t help but ask myself, “What about me? Have I written everything off, let everything go, for the sake of Christ? Are my hands wide open?”
Like I said, Scripture keeps it real. A mirror that sometimes you may not want to gaze into for too long.
But you do, because you want to gain Christ–that desire seeded within you by the Spirit who longs to make Him known. And though my flesh is weak, my spirit so wants to be more like Paul, counting everything loss, releasing my grip on all that the world says I should value. Writing it off in order to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” (v.10).
Inspired by Paul this morning. But convicted as well. Knowing how easy it is to only count “most things” as loss. To write-off stuff, but selectively. To let go of any confidence in the flesh, yet reserve the right of recall.
Writing it off . . . by the grace of God.
. . . in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
(Philippians 3:8b-9 ESV)
Writing it off . . . for the glory of God.