9.24.15 "The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Christ"

Heavenly Father, thank you for a new day in which to thank, love and serve you. Quiet our minds as we consider these amazing words given by the Holy Spirit to the apostle Paul for our blessing. As you value and honor us today, help us by your Spirit to value and honor everyone we encounter.  Amen Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV)

8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

In this passage, the apostle Paul looks on all the things that have given his life meaning and value, and considers all of it ‘garbage’ compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and being found in Him. His righteousness before God and his value as a person is not dependant on what he has accomplished but on the righteousness that comes from faith in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.

What the apostle Paul discovers about his value as a person has little to do with the work of his hands but on the gift that God has freely provided in Jesus Christ through faith. It is a reality that each of us must acknowledge.

Today God has reminded me that if my value is caught up in the fact that I am on the clergy roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, I have it all wrong. While being a pastor is a noble endeavor, in a few short years when I see the Lord face to face, He’s not going to ask for my ordination certificate.

Being found in Christ through faith in Him is the essence of the Christian life. I rejoice today because my life has value, not because of anything I have done but because of what God has done in and through me by His Spirit.  I am honored today and valued as a child of the King. The same is true for every one of you who know Jesus and are found in him.

Lord, thank you for giving our lives value and for honoring us through the gift of your son.  Help us to be alert to the ways you want to use us to share the good news of salvation with others and to honor them by showing that in Jesus, their lives will have value and meaning. Amen.