Philippians 3:7 – I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him.
Lord Jesus, as I meditate on the Apostle Paul’s words, I smell the aroma of a free man, a joyful man, and a grace-man–a man I want to become more like. Things he once treasured became Paul’s “garbage.” Old stuff that used to consume him, no longer even amused him. Enjoying an intimate and robust relationship with you mean more to Paul that any other competing currency and treasure.
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Though I’m not as free as Paul, I am as justified as he is. For I too can say, with humility and über-joy, that you are my righteousness. I don’t trust in doing good stuff, or not doing bad stuff, for my acceptance with God–not in my tears or my sincerity, not my service or my repentance, not in my giving or my striving.
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death.
That is why I can say with Paul, I want to know you better and better, Jesus–more deeply and fully, spilling over into a life of living to your glory. So grant me the power of the Spirit to love well–to love holiness, people, and my community. And grant me a greater willingness to suffer with you, Jesus. Give me your heart, tears, and compassion, for the broken people and broken places in our world. So very Amen I pray, in your lovely and loving name.