But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ.
Talk about a high achiever; Paul fit the bill. Look at his description again (from yesterday) in vv. 5-6; “I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.” All those things he once treasured and thought were of infinite value, he now considered worthless garbage. Ultimately, knowing Jesus Christ personally as Lord is the only thing that matters in this life and the life to come. Paul restates the fact that in spite of his “high pedigree” and all the “righteous religious works” he did, none of these could ever make him right with God. God accepts us because of our faith in Jesus Christ; there’s no other way to be made right with God.
For those of us who strive to be high achievers (which includes me), let me ask a few key questions. What are you trying to prove? Will the accolades of men ever compare to knowing you are pleasing God? I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have goals and ambitions. I think you should, but are those goals and ambitions consistent with God’s desire for your life? Do your goals and ambitions allow you to be used to further Christ’s Kingdom, or are you more interested in the praise of men?
I like to win and enjoy being around winner, but if you’re a high achiever, how will your accolades, plaques and trophies be used? Will you use them as a platform to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ? Will you further the building of His Kingdom in the world, or will you just use them for yourself? Paul’s words to the Christians at Corinth remind me of the priority of building God’s Kingdom. Paul wrote: 13 There is going to come a time of testing at Christ’s Judgment Day to see what kind of material each builder has used. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire so that all can see whether or not it keeps its value, and what was really accomplished. 14 Then every workman who has built on the foundation with the right materials, and whose work still stands, will get his pay. 15 But if the house he has built burns up, he will have a great loss. He himself will be saved, but like a man escaping through a wall of flames. (1 Cor. 3:13-15) Are you investing you life in things that are eternal, or are you investing you time, talent and treasure in things that have no eternal value and won’t last? Invest in something significant – invest in those things that are ETERNAL !
PS This is funny to me. After last Friday’s BLOG, someone asked if we were having problems with our staff. The blog that day was about grumbling and complaining. At the very end of the blog, I added this note: GFC Pastors and staff – be the first or fifth person to email me on Friday (Aug. 22) after reading this – and include the verse from Philippians we are memorizing together – and you’ll receive something that brings you joy.
This addition had nothing to do with the content of the blog that day! It was just a fun game I was playing with the staff – to encourage them to continue reading Philippians each day during our REFUEL Series – and to reward a couple of them monetarily if they were the first or fifth person to respond. We’ve got a great staff that loves each other and works together so well; and we’re learning how to become an even more powerful team!