The Surpassing Worth of Knowing God
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain ChristPhilippians 3:8
Paul had experienced the good life as a Pharisee and the difficult life serving the Lord, but he came to the realization that there is nothing compared to knowing Christ. It is the same for everyone because we are created in the image of God meaning the greatest thing we can experience is being in the presence of God. How did Paul’s life bring him close to the Lord, such that suffering loss of all things he refers to as rubbish compared to knowing Christ?
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) Paul lived for Christ with total trust in the Lord. His life was dedicated to serving the Lord, preaching and teaching the Word to whoever would listen. Nothing appeared to stop Paul from bringing Christ to the world.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, (2 Corinthians 11:24-25) The persecution he encountered made him more dependent on the Lord, increased his faith, and made him more eternally minded. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Paul suffered in this life and as he got into the later years of his life, I suspect he was physically tired and ready to go be with Christ. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. (Philippians 1:21-22) Paul continued to live in the body ministering to the churches by writing letters to the churches teaching them the ways of Christ. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (Philippians 3:13) Paul continued to serve the Lord until his execution by Nero.
Paul was close to the Lord because of his motivation, his persecution, and his desire to start and minister to the churches. Christ was his life and he spent his time preaching and teaching and in prison for being a Christian. There wasn’t anything in the world that distracted him from serving the Lord. If we are motivated to give the Lord priority, living to bring Christ to others, and we endure any persecution from Satan, then we will be dependent on the Lord, living in faith and being eternal minded. Then, we will know the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
Today live for Christ ministering to the world guided by the Spirit. Depend on the Lord to get you through your day and whatever you go through today trust the Lord. Remember, he is always with you a greatly desires to help you through your day, because you are in his family and he loves you perfectly.
Prayer: Lord, help me to always seek to be closer to you and to serve you. Mold me to be more Christ-like everyday to reflect your love and your divine Words. In Jesus’ name, Amen