Paul Counted Everything He Had Achieved As Loss
"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ..." Philippians 3:7-8 What Paul counted as loss was a very substantial loss. He had attained to one of the highest positions in Judaism and had a top reputation among all. vs 5: "...circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;" But when Jesus Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus, he became a changed man. His encounter with the Lord was so all-encompassing that he left all to follow Him. Because of his confession of Jesus Christ as Messiah, he lost his position in Judaism, he lost his great reputation and became scorned by his former friends. Yet ...he rejoiced because what he found was incomparable. He was so transformed that he counted all of his past as "rubbish." He counted it all ...as rubbish. Paul had a call on his life, and so does anyone who has been born again. The most important thing you can do in life is to find out from the Lord what his call on your life is, and then to pursue it with all your heart. Gain and glory in this life are futile and without question will come to an end. But the reward for turning from these things and serving the Lord instead, will bring you joy unspeakable FOR ALL ETERNITY. Paul realized that he had not yet been made perfect, that he lived in a fallen human nature still, but that didn't stop him - after all, the Lord knew that when he called him. So Paul accepted the call and went on, even though he was imperfect: vs 12: "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, BUT I PRESS ON, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me." "That for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me" is the most important thing in life. He understood that and it changed his entire focus. What is that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of YOU? vs 13-14 "Brethren, I do not count myself to have attained; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Friends, no matter what you achieve in life, it's going to end. The wealth and the reputation and the career - however you define yourself in this life - it's all going to end. Take on the attitude of Paul and realize that having been born again, we are no longer citizens of this world but have become citizens of heaven and therefore all that we do, all that we think, all that we say, all that our lives contain should be driven and directed toward what is real and what is permanent, our eternal position in heaven. We do not hold dual citizenship. We’re not divided between two kingdoms. When one is born again he BECOMES a citizen of the Kingdom of God. vs 12: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." Friends, lay hold of "the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Time and achievements will pass away, but eternity is forever.