Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Philippians 3:4 I myself have reasons for such confidence.
In 1972, I thought I knew exactly what I needed to become a man of purpose and worth. Everything about my life at that time was about immediate gratification. If I wanted it or believed I needed it, I got it. Whatever sacrifice it took, I pursued my objective wholeheartedly. My objective this time was to end my relationship with a 1968 Chevy Bel Aire that had once been a taxi cab, and to step up to a sports car with which I could establish my identity. I found just the car – a 1969 Ford Mustang convertible. In order to get it, I had to come up with some cash and a financing plan. I started down a road of very poor decisions concerning school and work that got me my immediate goal but sidetracked me from God’s purpose for my life.
One year later, I made the same mistakes again. The Mustang no longer fulfilled me, so I sold it, along with other things, to get cash. I even dropped a class at college to get more cash. I just had to have the1968 Oldsmobile 442 I found. It had more power than any young man should have under his feet. It was beautiful, and I felt fulfilled, for a time.
I was making sacrifices to get immediate benefits, but for all the wrong reasons. I was seeking to earn my worth, establish my identity, and feel loved. Later I discovered that I was looking for all those things in the wrong places. Jesus alone is able to meet all of those needs, and I had to be willing to give up everything I had to discover it. I had, like Paul, put my confidence in all the wrongs things.
In Philippians 3 Paul says the greatness of fulfillment in Christ surpasses anything else we could ever attain. Paul lists for us all the things that are not worth hanging on to:
- Don’t hang on to religious rituals – Paul was circumcised on the eighth day, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to racial heritage – Paul was of the people of Israel, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to social rank – Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to denominational identity – Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to public recognition – Paul was a Pharisee, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to good intentions – Paul was persecuting the church, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
- Don’t hang on to your reputation – Paul was faultless, but it now meant nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
Whatever it was that Paul had used to bring fulfillment to his life prior to meeting Jesus, he now considered rubbish compared to what he found in Christ.
Take another look at the list and see if you are still hanging on to one of those elements of earth-based value, when you could let go of it and find the wealth of heaven-based worth. I found out the hard way that what the world offers cannot satisfy. You are finding it out right now. Go ahead, sacrifice everything you have placed your hope in, and put your hope in Jesus alone. Then you will be rich beyond measure.