FIND FREEDOM IN CHRIST. PRESS ON.
- Key Verse
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3: 7-8a)
- READ THE CHAPTER
The incomparable gain of knowing Jesus Christ is everything. Pursue HIM, rejoice, and be joy-filled.
From time to time, I have tried thinking like Paul, "[i]f anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more" (Philippians 3:4, NIV 1984).
I was born to godly parents. We were in church every time the doors were open, no wait, we opened the doors. Scripture reading and memorization were required. My mother, an angel, and Dad, a pastor. We prayed every morning, and evening . . . on our knees! We served others and gave joyfully and consistently. My sister was already telling others about Jesus when I was born.
I am qualified! I was born into it! WRONG! Although my family's influences were evident, the decision to trust Christ was mine alone. At an early age, I realized my need for a Savior. I believed and trusted Him. Read Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9, and 8:1. But, rather than consistently pursuing Christ, I found performing and people-pleasing a way of life. That self-imposed pressure was exhausting.
Finally, I realized the futility of anything apart following Him. I searched Scripture and began pursuing, being "salt and light" to those around me. It became evident that defining my self-worth by performance was a thief that came to destroy. But Christ came so that we could have life abundantly (John 10:10). You lose nothing, but gain everything.
I love music. Greg Ferguson wrote and performed a song entitled "An Audience of One." Here are some of the lyrics:
I'll be content to serve an audience of One.
Only His approval counts when all is said and done.
And this is my prayer, when the race is finally run,
I want to hear "Well done" from the audience of One.
That song just makes me want to shout, "Yes!" He is the One and only. He made the way. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV 1984) (emphasis added) reads, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the GIFT of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast."
I have learned there is no higher value in life than accepting this gift. Grab it, hold it, and live it.
1. Are you performing or pursuing?
2. Read Luke 12:16-20. What did Jesus have to say about this man's decision (see verse 21)?
3. What qualifies you to become His follower?
4. What kingdom goals do you have for today? For this year? How about next year?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 13-17 (Philippians 1 - Colossians 1)
Read Philippians 2: 1-11.
• What does it mean to be selfish or to try to impress others?
• Why would those things go against what God would have you do?
• What, instead, does Paul say we should do? (verse 3 & 4)
• What would it look like in your own life to do those things?
• What did Christ do for you?
• How did He show humility?
• Is it easy for you to be humble, not seek everyone's approval, and to serve others above yourself?
Activity: At a family meeting, ask each person to identify someone to serve. For the person you identify, think about doing something that puts that person before yourself. Try to think of someone who cannot do anything for you in return!