Devotion, October 2, 2020, Friday
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Him” (Philippians 3:8).
Paul had gained a lot in his life as a Pharisee. He was well educated, highly regarded, a man of prestige, and no doubt had a good income. He thought he was faithful to his Jewish religion when he persecuted Christians. It looked as if his life path was set. As we say, he had it made, but then he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Everything changed! He lost everything pertaining to his life as a Pharisee. He was hunted by his former Jewish friends. He experienced much hardship—-beatings, stoning, shipwreck —- all in service to Jesus.
Paul declares emphatically that everything he lost he regards as rubbish, garbage, in comparison to what he gained. Of course, he had gained a saving relationship with Jesus. Jesus was worth more to him than everything he lost from his former life. What about us? We have things we enjoy in this life, but can we honestly say with Paul that knowing Jesus is worth far more than everything else? If you lost everything except your faith in Jesus, would you think like Paul — it was all rubbish in comparison to knowing Jesus? Where does Jesus fit on your scale of values? Do you value things, family, position, more than you value Him? I hope we all see Jesus as having more value than everything else.
Gracious Father in heaven, I must confess there are many things I possess that I highly value. One day I will say goodbye to all of it, leaving me with nothing but Jesus. Open my spiritual eyes that I may see clearly the surpassing worth of Jesus. Help me to see that if Jesus were not present in my life, I would possess nothing but garbage. Help me to see that Jesus is indeed the pearl of great price. In His name, I pray. Amen.