The Joy and Treasure of the Lord – My Daily Bread!
Our inspiration for today is taken from Philippians 3: 7-8, NIV, which tells us:
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ my Lord, for whose sake I lost all things. I consider them rubbish 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 is through faith in Christ”.
Here Paul speaks to us of the all-encompassing Joy of knowing Christ! The reference here to ‘profit’ relates to all of his prior successes, credentials, the things that distinguished who he was before he came to know the lord. For Paul and his family were wealthy; part of the elite Jewish ruling class called the Pharisees, a sect of Judaism that believed in strict observance of the law and Jewish oral tradition.
The first time he comes to our attention is at the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus. Acts 7: 59, NIV, tell us “And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.” Paul actively persecuted the early Christians until Jesus met him personally on the way to Damascus at which point he became a believer (See details in Acts Chapter 9).
The key point is that Paul was quite accomplished and wealthy by the world’s standards when we first meet him in the scriptures; and then lost what the world would have considered much for the sake of Christ. At the end of his life he is a poor prisoner in Rome awaiting trial for preaching the Gospel. Through his trials and experiences he learned to treasure Christ such that all other previous accomplishments paled in comparison to the joy of knowing Jesus! Actually he compared it to garbage!
What a profound statement about values from a man who had much! The key Saints, is that Paul understood that he gained even more in Christ! That through faith in Jesus he could attain to the righteousness of God for all eternity! Paul’s lesion for us today: (1) how we start out in this life is not going to be as important as how we end up and (2) we must be careful that we do not consider our prior achievements so important that they get in the way of our relationship with Christ. Do you have Paul’s view of Christ? What shines brighter in your life today: your life’s accomplishments before you came to Christ or your current relationship with the Lord? Is He your treasure?
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