THE CORRECT PRIORITY
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 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 and become one with him. 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. 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, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:7-11 NLT
Let’s look at a few words from this passage to challenge our thinking. First, the word, “consider.” Paul said the things he once thought important he now considered “worthless because of what Christ has done.” This is a strong word which means to “think through or reflect on.” We should be like Paul and “think through” what God has done through Christ for us. In our fast-paced society it is easy to never think through much. Our lives get full of activity, entertainment, social media, and appointments. However, we must intentionally stop and “think through” the things that are important. The next word to consider is “worthless.” Some translations use the term “loss” or “garbage.” In our translation the word is “worthless” in verse 7 and “garbage” in verse 8. Paul is making the point that compared to knowing Jesus everything else is worthless garbage. By allowing the Holy Spirit to set our priorities, Jesus will be at the top of the list and everything else drops down the line. I remember years ago hearing a former football player who was coached by Tom Landry with the Dallas Cowboys. He told about being in his first team meeting with Coach Landry when the coach walked to a chalk board and wrote his four life priorities on the board. First was God, second was family, and third was football. The player telling of that moment commented that when he saw Coach Landry write those priorities on the board, he whispered to a teammate, “With those priorities we will never win any games.” The player went on the share how the faith of Tom Landry changed his life, and he found a personal relationship with Jesus through watching Coach Landry’s life. When our priorities are in order others will see and be impacted. Let’s look at our third word, “know.” Paul says he wants to “know” Christ. This Greek word does not refer to a head knowledge of information. It means “to know by experience.” It is an intimate knowledge that comes by spending time together. Cindy and I will soon celebrate 39 years of marriage. In those years we have come to know each other deeply and intimately. Because of sharing life for this long we “know” each other’s thoughts and desires even before they are spoken. Spending time with Jesus through God’s Word, God’s family, and prayer is the way we get to know Jesus. Paul wanted to know the resurrection power of Jesus. But he recognized you can’t have a resurrection without a death. For believers we don’t have to die on a cross, but we do have to live a life of sacrifice if we want to know the life of resurrection.
Holy Spirit help us to really know Jesus. Help us to live lives of sacrifice so that we can also live lives of resurrection. May our lives impact others as they see Your life in us.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”