26 August 2006

Counted as Loss

~ Read Philippians 3

Why do we fret about what we can or cannot do for God? We look at the gifts and talents of others, wishing we could be "talented" like so-and-so, or gifted in a certain area like this-or-that person. What have we -- the "nobodies" -- to offer to God?

No one has anything to offer to God. I once heard a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley in which he said, "The only thing Christ wants from you is yourself." How true! God wants all of me so He can use me for His glory. That's why I was created.
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 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith -- that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (vs. 7-11)
The Apostle Paul had bragging rights (humanly speaking), but look what he says -- "
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ." The Greek word in this verse for "loss" literally means "damage." Damage... wow. He considered that "important" stuff he did as damage for the sake of Christ.

I once heard a quote saying, "What's done this life shall pass, but what's done for Christ will last." If we aren't doing it all for Christ (Colossians 3:23), then it's worthless! For example,
I used to receive vocal training and music theory from my high school choir director. I write songs and play the piano -- I could make an album and push my way into "fame" if I really wanted to. But that is total rubbish if I'm not using that for Christ. How did God use my music skills this year? I directed song time for childcare at church and sang Gracie to sleep in the car. Some people might call that a "waste," but was it?

My writing is only worth something if it touches and impacts people for Christ -- so what if I could publish a book and establish myself in the writing community?
All my world-traveling is nothing unless I am telling people in other countries about Christ. Anything and everything I do is nothing if not used for the glory of God!

I have a friend who's a doctor. He could have stayed in Dallas and made lots of money, lived in a nice house, driven a nice car -- just like all of the other doctors. He is currently living in China with his family, making calls to remote villages in the mountains.

My mother could have been an astrophysicist. She is a stay-at-home mom who home-schooled me K-12 and is still home-schooling Jeremy through high school. The science community will never know her name. However, she has impacted not only her children, but many young mothers in our church -- by extension impacting future generations of children.

God uses the simple to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Think of David. What was he doing when the prophet Samuel came to anoint him future king of Israel? Watching sheep -- one of the lowliest jobs around. David was the youngest of seven brothers -- all of whom were considered "important" in the world's eyes. Little David watched sheep while his brothers went off to fight in war. Look what God did with a shepherd boy -- made him king of His chosen nation, won important military victories through him, wrote the longest book of the Bible. Was it because David was strong and talented? No. God uses people that most of us don't even think of.

So what do you have to offer to God?

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
Just you -- that's it -- not the trinkets and baubles of this world.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

The surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We have no bragging rights.


At 26 August, 2006 16:03, Blogger Redeemed said...

Amen, Carey!!!

Thank you for posting this.


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