I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or may ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Paul used to think that obeying Jewish law to the strictest degree was the correct and only right way to be accepted by God. He was so zealous in his beliefs that he persecuted and even helped kill those that proclaimed to be followers of Jesus Christ. After his encounter with the resurrected Christ on his way to Damascus, he became a devout believer and follower of Jesus Christ and realized that following the letter of the Law did not bring about the relationship that God wanted Paul to have with him.
You see, when we only follow rules, laws and regulations, when it comes to religion, we miss out on so much more that the Lord has made available to us. Choosing the right clothes to wear, attending the correct amount of services each week and articulating the most current religious terms doesn’t make us any more of a Christian than sleeping in the garage will make us a car. It’s not just about doing the right things, it’s also about having the right relationship. It’s about what’s going on in our heart.
Once we realize the “priceless gain of knowing Christ”, everything else we’ve ever experienced or done pales in comparison. Paul understood that and lived the rest of his life accordingly. As Christians, we need to understand that truth also. For some reason, we keep thinking that life is always greener on the other side of the fence, so we experiment in many different areas that not only does us great harm, but it brings a reproach to God and His gospel. We’ve all been down roads that we know only brought us pain and turmoil, so why do we try to revisit those paths? We need to keep moving forward with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ. There is nothing out there worth us risking being sidetracked. Let our past stay in our past and let our future remain in the hands of Christ.
Take some time today to remember what your life used to be like before you met Jesus Christ and developed a relationship with him. Reflect on all that He has done for you and all the blessings you have received from Him. Sincerely thank Him and praise Him. Spend one full day just thanking Him for His goodness and not asking Him for one thing. Then think about how you feel at the end of that day.
Have a great day!