Scripture:Peace Rose from my garden-4/24/2013
Philippians 3:8-11, NASB
8) More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9) and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11) in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
-Paul states that there is absolutely nothing he would not give up for Christ, nothing he has lost or suffered can compare in value.
-He again addresses the idea that righteousness comes through faith in Christ not the Law.
-All of this with one goal in mind... eternal life.
Of what value is it to know Christ my Lord? For Paul nothing else mattered, everything else was rubbish. And this was a man who knew what suffering was.
When I first started writing this post a few months ago I was going to head off in a totally different direction. Not a bad direction, but the Lord has been doing some work in my heart lately that has caused me to see a different, more personal application to these verses today. You see if I really believe that knowing Christ is such a precious commodity that I will give up whatever is necessary to be His faithful servant I need to make some changes.
When I think about what Paul and the believer's in Philippi had to deal with I am embarrassed by the things I choose to hold onto. For me, my "suffering" is mainly self-inflicted. The world I live in is not trying to pull me apart from Christ with imprisonment, but rather with its enticements and lies. The world I live in tries to convince me that I am number one...everyone, everything else, should bow to my will. That is not the way of Christ, He humbled Himself even to death on a cross. I have trouble humbling myself even within the context of my marriage to the will of my husband. It's my way or else. And boy has he been suffering through the "or else."
The life of righteousness comes from God. At this point in my life that life needs to be obedient to that which I already know I should do. How often I have quoted these verses from 1 Corinthians 13... Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (This is from the NIV which is the translation I used back in the day when I memorized this in Sunday School and so the one that comes to mind when I need it to.)
When I consider those words very carefully I am brought to my knees. I have neither been patient, kind, humble, honoring, protective, trusting, hopeful or persevering. I have been easily angered, keeping a record of perceived wrongs and self-seeking. Oh, it is all wrapped up in a very righteous attitude, but that pesky still small voice has been whispering these verses to me for months now and I have continued to convince myself that I was okay, the problem was not me. You know what? It does not matter where the problem lies, I still need to live these verses as well as the ones that tell me to love and respect my husband. What does love look like? It looks like 1 Corinthians 13. How many marriages have started out with these verses quoted, and yet we do not really take them to heart. It is a great sentiment but we do not live them. I do not live them.
I had convinced myself that for real change to take place I needed to make clear how "wronged" I have felt. Isn't that more in line with what the world teaches us? You know what? All that attitude succeeded in doing was making us both miserable. It has taken a real effort to change the thoughts running through my mind at times, but I am feeling much better, nothing has changed in the situation except for my attitude. I have to have faith in Christ to work out this situation, and I am here to confess that I may have been getting in the way of His work by not "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5b, NASB) That is what a bondservant does.
I still have a lot of questions and a lot to work out as I try to be obedient in this situation. I know myself well enough to know the struggle to prove myself right is not over. So I start where I have always started, in the Word...those precious life-changing words that always speak truth to us. May I only have ears to hear.
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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