Philippians 3: 4b-14

If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things, I consider them rubbish, 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 is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

A Thought

Before Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, he had reason to think that he was justified in his flesh to be righteous because of who he was and how he obeyed the Law. Now, Paul considers everything that he obtained in his own righteousness as a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ by faith and gaining the righteousness that comes from God. Paul desires to be fruitful by sharing in fellowship with Christ and his sufferings to be made perfect in him. Not that Paul has been made perfect, but he is forgetting the things that are behind while he is running the race to gain the prize that God has for him in heaven with Christ Jesus.

Our Prayer

Father we desire to encounter the same dedication to you that Paul displays in his teachings of Christ Jesus. Awaken us by the power of your Holy Spirit that we will work to harvest a fruitful crop of souls that will accept your Son, Christ Jesus as Savior and Redeemer. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.