Devotion for January 17, 2014
What’s your favorite memory? Maybe it was when your kids were born. Maybe it was when you got married? There are some memories in a really good to remember!
Have you ever known someone that lives completely in the past? Maybe you’ve met the 50-year-old high school quarterback who talks about the glory days when they won the championship. We’ve all talked to the person who has becoming bitter because of what happened years ago. Some people live in the past by playing the “what if game” and trying to make it different than what it is.
- What if I took that job…
- What if I never would’ve gone on that date…
- What if we had had more kids…. Or less kids….
This even happens to us our spiritual lives. For some people their best times spiritually are in the rearview mirror and not in front of them..
How does this happen? And what we do about it?
The Bible addresses this topic in such a relevant way and here is why you need to know what it says about dealing with your past:
- There is a lot of time that can be wasted by dwelling on the past.
- Often we can sacrifice our present and our future because of our focus on the past.
Here Paul gives us the key to making the most of our lives in by dealing with our past.
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Here Paul presents his resume before Christ and apart from Christ. Before Paul was saved he really believed that he had something to offer God. If Judaism and keeping the law wsa the way to get right with God, Paul would’ve been the man.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
The word “gain” here speaks of the things that I value and hold up to God as something to be held on to and identified by.
What are some things you value? Money, relationships, technology, hobbies.
Paul says he counts, or accounts, those things as loss- things that should be able to be given up for something better.
● What does Paul say he is willing to give up the things he values?
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
The most valuable thing that you and I have is the opportunity to know and be known by Jesus Christ.
The word count here has this idea of reckoning or accounting or setting a value in one’s heart and mind. Paul says, I have decided to see the difference between the value of the things that I valued outside of Christ and knowing Christ himself.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The reason we live in the past is because we have begun to value something other than knowing and being known by Christ.
The problem is when we think we have arrived. We think that we have somehow finished the race. But if you’re alive you still have something to do somewhere to go in a relationship with Jesus.
At the last house I lived at we had a canal in the back behind our yard.. Usually to see the water you have to go all the way to the edge. Last summer we got so much rain I could stand in my house and see the water. After the water began to recede you could go out to the back of my house see a high watermark-a place where the water got to but no longer is.
I use that as an illustration to say this:
When it comes to your relationship with Jesus, Are you at a high watermark in your intimacy and relationship with Jesus Christ?
If you are not, what are you valuing more than that?
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: