"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, October 11, 2013

* LOSING TO GAIN - Part 2

Philippians 3:8 (NIV 1984) "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ."


Paul willingly lost all things and considered them rubbish in comparison to knowing Christ.  Prior to Phil. 3:8, in verses 4-6 Paul tells of his glowing resume as a Hebrew of Hebrews from the tribe of Benjamin etc.  His point is that he could choose to put confidence in the flesh but he chose to lose those things and count them as rubbish or dung, to be more specific, in order to gain Christ.  

Paul had to lose, to gain.  We too, will need to lose in order to gain.   To gain that which has value (knowing Christ), it will be necessary to shed whatever excess baggage inhibits this equation.  Excess baggage for Paul was his reputable standing as a leading religious leader, his family heritage and resume of righteousness. 

In verse 9 he goes on to say, "And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."

Knowing Christ meant that Paul could not put confidence in all the accomplishments and kudos he achieved or the knowledge he attained through the law.  He knew the righteousness that came through the law was based on performance.

The righteousness Paul desired comes through faith in Christ Jesus.  Romans 10:17 teaches that faith comes by hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ. We cannot have faith if we do not know Christ.  We cannot know Christ without knowing His Word.  In fact, the more we know Him through His Word the stronger our faith will be.

According to Paul, if we want to know Christ we need to count all things as garbage compared to the excellency of knowing Him.  When our assurance is in our flesh, the results are far reaching.  A false sense of security will steal our heart because the Living Water becomes diluted within us.  And, the desire to know Christ diminishes because we become enthralled by who we are, what we do, our position, title, influence and all we achieve.  

When we're caught up in ourselves, we're not captivated with our Savior.  If our confidence is in the flesh then our faith is in ourselves, not in Christ.  When true faith is in Christ, then trust in the flesh is reduced because our reliance is appropriately anchored. 

Just this morning the Lord challenged me with some things I need to lose in my life in order to gain and know Him more.  He nudged my heart, Hester, do you really consider ALL things loss in order to know Me more?  What about . . ?  I know what He is referring to.  Things of comfort and familiarity.  Things I have held tightly to in recent years, like a sense of control over certain details of life.  Things like compliments, that if left unchecked and not reciprocated back to the glory of God, will drive a wedge of pride in my heart.

Like Paul, we all have areas in life we could take credit for or like to place certainty in.  Let's remember that whenever we trust in anything outside of Christ, we cannot fully know Him.  We cannot gain Christ without losing self.  What are you losing to gain?

Heart Work:
What earthly things do you put confidence in?  C'mon don't be shy.  List them separately if needed.

Does your righteousness come by faith or do you secretly store up human accomplishments as a measuring stick of your goodness?

How desperately do you desire to know God intimately?  How would you respond to this statement:  Intimacy within cannot be experienced without Christ.

Heart Exam and Prayer:  
"Lord, I don't want anything to be in the way of knowing you and gaining more of You in my life.  Please help me accept Your gentle guidance so I can move forward in faith.  These growing pains may hurt my heart, but are necessary, in order to experience deeper intimacy with You.  This process of letting go and removing hindrances will cause the growth You desire in my life. Surrender will enable me to know You more.  Help me to lose in order to gain."

Heart Transforming Word:
Hosea 6:3 & 6 (NLT) "Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him.  I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.  I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings."

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV 1984) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!' "

John 14:8-9 " 'Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."  Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." '

2 Corinthians 3:4 "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."

Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the Law, Christ died for nothing!"

Galatians 3:11 " 'Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." '

Philippians 3:10 "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death."




Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.