Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ 9 and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ.10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did,11 so that somehow I also may be raised to life.
12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I donâ€™t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. 15 All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you.16 But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.
17 My friends, I want you to follow my example and learn from others who closely follow the example we set for you. 18 I often warned you that many people are living as enemies of the cross of Christ. And now with tears in my eyes, I warn you again 19 that they are headed for hell! They worship their stomachs and brag about the disgusting things they do. All they can think about are the things of this world.
20 But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ 21 has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body. Â Â Â Â Â Â Philippians 3:8-20 (CEV)
I hope, no I am stopping to pray right now, that you will read this passage at least twice. I hope you might find that it produces something inside of you that says, â€œWait a minute. What did that say? What did that mean?â€ And maybe â€“ just maybe you take the time this weekend to read this passage in more than one translation. I read it first in my NIV and then I read it in the CEV. I’m going to go back this weekend and read it in The Message and in Holman’s Standard Bible. I’m going to take the time and effort to do that because I feel the conviction in my spirit that this is important.
Last night, I sat around a table with seven other men and women and we discussed two of the most controversial doctrines in Jesus’ Church today. We discussed and we did not try to convince each other that â€œmy way is the right way.â€ We did not leave the table angry but still loving each other. It was great! How did that happen? I believe it is because we all heard the Holy Spirit say to us as Paul says here:
- Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
- I am not perfect.
- â€¦ if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you.
So today, this weekend, I am not thinking about how I can convince others that the way that I believe is the right way, or the best way. I am thinking about how very blessed I am to know Jesus, God’s Son who came to die for my sins and the sins of my friends. We can sit around the table in my kitchen and one day we will all also sit at Jesus’ table together with Him. How totally, gloriously cool is that??!!
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love written by Peter R. Scholtes and sung by Jars of Clay