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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. Philippians 3:8

What are you holding on to that keeps you from selling out completely for Jesus?

That’s a hard question that frankly none of us really wants to answer because it forces us to look deep within ourselves and evaluate what is really important. It’s easy to give up things we can’t hold on to anyway. You can give up your worldly possessions when they are burned in a fire or blown away by a tornado. You have no choice. They are gone.

But what about the things in life we really cherish. The relationships we’ve been building for years; the retirement package we’ve worked so hard and so wisely to build; the children we’ve raised. When they get taken from you is your attitude one of acceptance or does their loss drive you to despair, anger, bitterness and frustration.

The easy answer to all this (as if there were an ‘easy answer) is to ask yourself if what you are getting in return is better than what you have. The problem with this ‘easy answer’ is that too often we have to wait until all the cards are played out before we know if we are better off than we were before.  

The Apostle Paul was, by the standards of his world at the time, destined for fame and glory. He was all the things men in his era would hope to be. Educated, powerful, highly-esteemed. Yet one day on the road toDamascushis life was changed forever. Everything Paul had worked to build was gone in a flash of light.

Later, he writes to the church inPhilippiand says, “Looking back, I now realize that all the things I fought for, all the things I worked so hard to attain, all the things I thought were important and that I couldn’t live without, pale in comparison to knowing Jesus.

Paul compared everything he considered dear to garbage! He looked at what he had then and stood it side-by-side with what he had found in Jesus and all the things that he’d fought so hard for looked like nothing more that a stinking, smelly, rotten pile of trash. Yuk.

So, the question that comes to each of our minds must be this. What are you fighting so hard to keep? When you compare those items to knowing Christ, how do they compare?

It’s easy to answer this question about some things, but what about the ‘good things’ you have? Is your ministry more important than the one you minister for? Is your family more important than the one who created families? Is the money you are fighting so hard to keep more important than the one who ‘owns the cattle on a thousand hills’?

Nothing, absolutely nothing you can think of, or hold in your hand or dream in wildest dreams can compare to knowing Christ and until you are ready to give it all up, you will never experience the freedom he died to give you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in my heart you are worth everything to me, but in my actions it’s so easy to put other things in front of you. Empower me with your Spirit to be able to give everything up for you. Amen.

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March 2012
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