Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-10
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Bible Text: 8 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 9 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. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life.
OBSERVATION: In our effort to reach the finish line well, we will face many temptations and the ‘filth’ and ‘garbage’ of this world on a daily basis. If we know the Master, then we are plugged into the powersource that will help us overcome the ‘garbage’ that may tend to hold us back. This is worth taking a few minutes to meditate on before God!
APPLICATION: Some of us are living ‘on top of the world’ – having the time of our lives with: great jobs; awesome friends; lots of ‘things’ for entertainment and/or enjoyment. However, there are some who are struggling to make it each day because they struggle to enjoy anything in life. At the foot of the cross, both types of individuals come with the same problem if they have yet to accept Jesus as Lord, for they come to the cross laden in sin. Believe it or not, Paul (aka Saul) was the chiefest of sinners in his day, yet God used him to show us through this scripture that just as he surrendered, or gave up everything to follow Christ, so will we have to give up the sin in our lives. Often this involves the things that have always led us to sin, or distracted us from knowing God. This challenged me, and I am sharing this with you so that you may be challenged, to think about this also. What is there in our lives that hinders our relationship with God? Is it time to throw out the ‘garbage’ so that our minds and our lives might be freed of the pull of sin? This could be hindering your acceptance of the Lord, or if we know Him already, this could be distracting and/or hindering our intimacy with Him. I want you to commit with me, as Paul did in verse 10, that from this very moment in life, we will reach for the finish line, to stand before God without any fear of shame, or rejection, or penalty from Him. The distractions that we will face getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ are the sins that we have to watch out for, and avoid, each day. Will you join me in going before Jesus each and every day to ask for His strength, His guidance and His power to overcome the ‘garbage’ that will try to trip us up each day? For we want to see Jesus! We want to know Him and the awesome power that raised Him to life! Let us therefore run this race of life with God at the center of all we do. Let us lean on His awesome power to help us stay ‘garbage free’ and strive to serve Him faithfully each and every day!
PRAYER: Lord You have allowed us to stay on this earth so that we might represent You and witness to others who need Jesus. You know all about the ‘garbage’ that we have allowed to enter our lives that really stinks and repels the sinner from wanting to know You. We are ashamed that we have been so weak and ineffective. I was convinced in Your Word today that others, in the heart of a ‘garbage’ pile, really don’t want more ‘garbage’, for they are looking for a way out, a cleansing, a new and better life. Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life for those looking for a new life. Thank You for opening my eyes to this truth over 40 years ago. Please help me to keep my eyes and my life fixed on You and determined to avoid the ‘garbage’ that will easily and quickly pollute my life. Please touch the lives of my readers with a renewed desire to know You and to live for You in a closer and more dedicated way. May Christians today truly represent the God of their Christianity and fight off the distractions, or the ‘garbage’, that will try to trip them up and distract their walk with You. Please touch the hearts of those that do not know You, with a softened heart and a strong determination to dump the ‘garbage’ in their lives and refill it with Your holiness, love and compassion. I ask all this in faith, believing in the Son of God, for it is only He that can help us be all that He desires of us. AMEN!