“But whatever gain I had I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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 Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8
It’s easy to say we believe that Christ is the most important person in our lives…but if we truly believe that He is the only worthy pursuit, why do we chase after other things? This is a question I am pondering in my own life. The only answer I can come up with is that our eyes haven’t been opened to see His greatness. Why is that?
The sad truth is that the Jesus that is preached today is often so uncaptivating, that countless believers are enthralled with other things. Once our eyes are opened to see the incredible richness and beauty of Jesus, either our other pursuits will take a backseat, or we will rediscover them in the light of His glory. Paul was a man who met Jesus on the road to Damascus and through physical blindness; his spiritual eyes were opened to the rich glory of Christ. His words in Philippians 3:7-8 illustrate this truth.
Paul’s goal in his letter to the Colossians was to strip away every distraction that was being held before their eyes & leave them with nothing but Jesus. At that time they were facing some false teachings, especially about the supremacy of Christ. Paul believed if they could just get a glimpse of the glories of Christ, He would be enough. The same is true today. I believe that God wants His Church to exalt Christ. If we do, God will show us, or remind us, of the all-encompassing beauty of His Son Jesus.
Look at what God said to the Church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:2-4
God is affirming the church for their perseverance and suffering. He commends them for not allowing false doctrine. But then He rebukes them. In their zeal for correct theology and their hard work for God, they lost their “first love”, Jesus Christ, and the supremacy of loving Him and Him alone.
So I ask…in your striving to be faithful, to persevere, to make a difference, to serve God…have you lost the love you first had for Jesus and the supremacy of loving Him above all else? You may obey Christ, but do you also adore Christ? Do you live for His sake and nothing else? My prayer is that we will all be able to say that our hearts are fixed on Jesus and Jesus alone.
Father, Thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for sending Him as a sacrifice for my sins, and as an example of how to follow You and serve others. Please strip away every distraction in my life so that my heart is fixed on Him alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.