I love the apostle Paul.
Always have. Always will.
I have many favorite passages written by Paul, but few eclipse his writings in Philippians 3:7-11. Listen to this:
“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.”
I mean, what’s not to like about a guy who uses the word rubbish in his writings?
Seriously, though, we all get so caught up in so many things that we think matter. The truth as Paul writes it is that only one thing matters.
The only thing that matters is Jesus Christ: knowing him, loving him, living for him.
Everything else must go. Everything else must fade. Everything else is rubbish.
With that in mind, I believe there are 4 things every Christian must break up with:
1. Relationships as the tie that binds.
While relationships are a necessary part of life, they sadly often hinder service for God and dim love for Jesus. It’s no wonder that Jesus himself said in Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus’ message was not to disregard your family, but to make sure that nothing – absolutely nothing – stands in the way of your love of the Lord. If you’re in a toxic relationship or are living for the approval of relationships that bind, you might consider that it’s time for a break up.
2. Impact as a measure of success.
Most Christians live to make an impact. We translate the great commission into a life of impact. And while impact is a natural part of living your life for Jesus, it’s time we stop making our own impact the measure of our success. A healthy tree will bear fruit – some trees will bear much fruit, other trees will bear less fruit. Each tree will go through its season of fruit bearing. Instead of focusing on the fruit, put your attention on abiding. Impact flows out of relationship with Jesus.
3. Public opinion as the secret to joy.
Are you still affected by what other people think and say of you? Look, we all are, but it’s time we break up with public opinion as the secret of our joy. It’s time to surrender our goals to the Lord and find joy in his presence. I’m tired of having my joy meter run by people: when they criticize me, I get sad, and when they praise me, I feel happy. No more living for others. Eyes on the cross. Hearts lifted upwards. Joy overflowing.
4. Health and wealth as the sign of God’s favor.
Lastly, will you join me in no longer judging God by how rich and healthy we are? Whether you’ve done it subconsciously, or have been wrongly taught by your denomination, please hear me clearly: God’s favor is more than just your good health and thick wallets. God’s favor is His presence in you through Christ. God’s favor is his cleansing you from guilt and sin through the cross. God’s favor is yours right now when you hand on to Jesus for life.
Hey – what if your life were about just one thing?
What if everything else faded, and only Jesus remained?
What if you broke up with the rubbish once and for all?
Posted on 11/14/2013 at 12:00:00 AM
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