Philippians 3:1-4:3, Psalm 91


Could you imagine Michael Jordan declaring his basketball skills and athletic performance “garbage?” Or how about Bill Gates declaring his riches “loss”? The apostle Paul would say all those “gains” and many more would be insignificant in comparison to the value of possessing Jesus as Lord. We have heard this truth that we should “consider all things loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7), and perhaps have grown numb to this fundamental truth. How would I suggest we can know if we are taking Jesus for granted? There are many ways to evaluate if our hearts have grown hard to Jesus' worth, but one of the ways to know if Jesus is your all-surpassing delight is to consider how you relate to those that cannot say “in the arms of my dear savior, there are 10,000 charms.” Note how Paul is both honest and compassionate about the plight of those who reject Jesus as Lord. First we see the honesty when Paul states, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” (Philippians 3:19) Paul refuses to flatter human egos that believe our rejection of the crucified Lord is innocuous, for rather such people live as “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18). At the same time, Paul can declare he has “tears” for those who live this way. Honesty and compassion can go together, and our world needs the church to demonstrate this attitude We don't have to succumb to the habit of so many that minimize indifference to our Lord, nor the opposite tendency of treating Jesus' enemies as those we hate. A mature person in Christ can be empowered by the one who, while dying for sinners, could say about his mockers, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) When Jesus is truly our treasure, we will be able to relate to those in darkness with HIs truth and mercy.