"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus My Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." --Philippians 3:7-8
I know I have shared from this book before but I felt the need to document and share this as well. In this chapter David Nasser is speaking about how Paul was the man of men. If religion were a sport, Paul would have been first draft. He even had a stellar line of background...doing all the right things...looking the right way, etc. So for him to all of the sudden say to this church that all of that was rubbish was astounding! And actually, the word rubbish is not the literal translation. The word is really even harsher than the word for "waste".
So, Paul was actually saying that this was "such a hindrance to him that he had to be careful not to step in them." The call of Jesus teaches us that our relation to the world has been built on illusion. And illusions don't die easily.
Paul had to take time and effort to search the Scriptures and to compare Truth to the illusion. Paul's search for Truth SHATTERED the illusions of his life and led him to take action. Notice he didn't say lead him to talk about it. To tell all of these churches in his letters how awesome he was. It led him to action! God was not just his treasure in theory or in words, but in life!
No one had to question Paul's life. He didn't need to remind everyone that he was his own bag of chips. No one had to question where his heart was. His life was lived out bearing his Treasure and not the illusion.
Paul's secret was to find joy, contentment, and pleasure not in outward things or people but in Christ alone--and Christ never changes! When we consider the Truth and the Truth shatters our illusions...the illusions that we have built up around us (yes, some even in the 'name of God') it sinks deep into our hearts and changes our lives!
Here's the part that so gripped me:
The task for you and me is to shatter the illusion that is so pervasive in our culture--and in our hearts. That illusion doesn't die the moment we trust Christ. Our job is to go to school, to consider the facts of what has value and what does not. In that school we find that very few people--and very few Christians--actually know fact from illusion. Too much of our teachings and even "christian music" tell us we can have Jesus and comfort, Jesus and prestige, Jesus and power. But we need to learn to be a good listener. Don't react too quickly to what you hear. Think about it and pray that God will give you insight. The results of considering and getting God's perspective is not violence or judgment against those who aren't clued in yet. It is thankfulness, contentment, firmness without hardness, and a zeal to Tell everybody you know about the incredible Treasure you have found NO WHERE ELSE but in Christ!
We actually talked about this the other night at church. What would the poll look like if we surveyed 100 Christians and asked this question?
"How much are you in the Word daily?"
Not reading a verse or two...not doing my Bible Study workbook...not reading a good devotional. IN THE WORD! Comparing Truth to the illusions in our lives.
It will change our life and cause us to count what we have been so busy building up and showing to everyone around us to be counted as rubbish.