“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 on the basis of faith.”
Philippians 3: 8-9

Where does your faith in your self come from?  It is common in our society to define yourself by the things you have gained in your life.  We define ourselves by our job status, our personal wealth, the number of followers we have on Twitter or friends on Facebook.  We even define ourselves by our place in the church.  The worst part about all of this, is this is how the world defines us.  The world basis respect on these worldly accomplishments.  If anyone had reason to talk about himself and how great his accomplishments were, it was Paul.  Before Paul became Paul, he was Saul.  Saul was a Pharisee of Pharisee’s, the Hebrew of Hebrew’s, the chief persecutor of Christians (Phil 3:5-6).  Paul stood by and held the coats of the people who stoned Stephen to death (Acts 7:58).  As far as the world was concerned, Saul was “The Man”.

Then something amazing happened to Saul, he met Jesus and his whole outlook was changed (Acts 9: 4-19).

Paul (no longer Saul) suddenly realized what was truly important.  All of the worldly status symbols don’t really mean anything to the person who really matters, Jesus Christ.  If those status symbols and accomplishments don’t matter to Christ, then shouldn’t mean anything to us.  Our worth does not come from our accomplishments (Eph 2:8-9), it comes from the fact that God found us worthy enough to send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).

Place your worth in Christ today.  Consider all other things worthless and take confidence in knowing that Christ considers you worthy.


Selective Hearing

The Finger of Thomas

“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.'”
John 20:27

I wonder how I would have responded had I been there the day that Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples.  Would I have been like Peter who jumped out of his boat with all of his clothes on to swim to shore and meet him (John 21:7) or would I have been Thomas, the “doubter”, who needed to place his own fingers in the wounds and see for himself (John 20:27)?

The real question is, how will I act when Jesus returns now?  It is one thing to talk about placing myself back 2000 years ago into the time of the disciples.  I can only imagine the pain and grief they were going through at that time.  They just didn’t get it.  Even though Jesus had explained what would happen over and over, they just didn’t hear it.  It is biblical selective hearing.  I think any time that Jesus spoke or even eluded to his death, the disciples tuned it out.  Even the angels remind the women at the tomb that Jesus told them this was going to happen.  They said, “Don’t you remember what Jesus said to you, The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” (Luke 24:6-7) After hearing this, then they remembered all the things Jesus had said and how it must be true.

Do you have selective hearing?  If Jesus were to stand beside you right now, in the flesh, would you suddenly remember all of the things he has said to you about His return, or would He need to explain it to you?  My prayer is that our ears are always open to the promises that God has made.  That we never forget what Jesus has done and promises He is going to do.