Sunday, October 05, 2014

Do you need a lens adjustment?

TODAY'S SPECIAL Philippians 3:1-11

TO CHEW ON: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

So much of our satisfaction with life depends on our perspective. If we look at life mainly as an opportunity to get rich and collect things, we’ll grow bitter and disappointed when we don't get rich or that wealth doesn’t last. The results will be the same if we set our sites on pleasure, happiness, fame, influence, prestige and a whole lot of other things. Though all of these things bring transitory pleasure for sure, the satisfaction is fleeting and leaves us with a thirst for more.

In our reading today Paul tells his readers why he has joy despite the fact that he’s in prison and has lost all the things that formerly give his life significance. It’s because when he became a Christ-follower his perspective changed. The passion of his life shifted from keeping the law and all that went with it—prestige and power as a leader, reputation as a scholar, the satisfaction of being a self-made man—to knowing Jesus. That’s why he could wave off all the terrible things that happened to him as if they were nothing. Even his suffering benefited him because it helped him know the God who gave His life to save him.

John Piper in the preface to the 2003 edition of his classic Desiring God says:

“This is the great business of life – to 'put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.' I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God…. God remains gloriously all-satisfying. The human heart remains a ceaseless factory of desires. Sin remains powerfully and suicidally appealing. The battle remains: Where will we drink? Where will we feast? ….Feast on God.” p. 12

Do you see your life—from its humdrum events, to the big life-defining moments—as a series of opportunities to know God better and enjoy Him more? I know I certainly need a change of perspective in that department.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to know what it means to “count all things loss” in order to know You better. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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