But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7 (NIV)
We sometimes ask the questions like: What gives me the greatest fulfillment and the greatest joy in my life? Why am I doing the things that I am doing today? Why am I here?” As you see these questions beg an answer about motives. So, what is your greatest motivation in life? What is your passion?
Paul, one of the great apostles and ministers of the gospel had to answer this question of motivation. There are certain things, achievements, or statuses that make us feel good and important. We want to boast about them before other people. Maybe it is about our successful businesses and carriers, good family background, or our successful ministries. There is nothing wrong with being successful. God is a God of excellence and He wants us to be the best people for His glory. The problem, however, is that many times when we boast about these achievements, we are not thinking about God but rather about ourselves.
Paul says in verses 7 and 8, “But what things were gain to me, these things I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them rubbish that I may gain Christ.” There are a number of lessons I want us to learn here:
- Following and serving Jesus Christ demands that we must be ready and willing to give up even things that are so precious to us. Just think about this for a moment: What are those things that you do not want to loose? I personally don’t want to loose anything I treasure, instead I want to add and add and add more. But Christ is calling us to give up – even the things that are very precious to us. if we don’t, the things we hold on to will take the place of God in our lives. You remember what Jesus told the young rich man in Matthew 19:21? …go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me.” I think what Jesus is saying here is that give up what you are holding on – something you have made your greatest passion and I will give you something better, something more precious. This is what this rich young man missed.
- Following and serving Christ is far better than anything we can have in this world. Why would Paul be willing to give up his social and religious and status? There, of course, must have been something more beautiful, more precious, more compelling and more fulfilling that made his to consider all other things to be rubbish. Friends, our calling to follow and serve the Lord Jesus Christ is higher and greater than any other thing that we could ever have in this world.
- Following and serving should be a continuous passion. We must live everyday of our lives with a passion of knowing Christ. Paul refers to his passion for Christ as of surpassing greatness; it is greater than anything in the world. It is greater than money, it is greater than sex, it is greater than power, shopping, it is greater than success in ministry, it greater than anything. Jesus wants to relate to us in ways than we never thought about. He wants to reveal to you something more about Himself every day, every hour. We can never know enough of Him, as we desire more of Him, He reveals more and more.
My prayer for you is that you will make knowing Christ your priority, not only for a few days but your lifetime passion, your lifetime goal. It is my prayer that you, like Paul, will say that my passion is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”