This is my absolute favorite verse, I think. There are MANY others that stand out for me, but this one is a recurring theme in my life.
I'm so not perfect, and I hate making mistakes. And every day I mess up. Every day I make selfish choices that I'm fully aware of, plus I make unknowing careless choices that separate me further from Jesus. I love knowing that Paul felt the same way... That he couldn't count on himself to be made right with God by obedience. That the only thing Paul could count on was Christ making him righteous through faith. I want to be right with God, but on my own it's impossible.
And frankly, nothing else is worth much compared with knowing Christ. I love my husband, but as a human person I'm gonna screw it up. Every time. I love my girls and would die for them, but as a messed up, sinful mom I'm gonna mess them up. Even when I'm making the right choices. Only by knowing Christ, resting in Him and pressing on to know Him, will I be able to love my family perfectly.
I once thought these things (Paul's referring to his knowledge of scripture, and his position as a pharisee) 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!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things (Paul's referring to absolute righteousness and knowing Christ perfectly) or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
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