I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.     Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)

Lectionary texts: Isaiah 43:16-21, Psalm 119:9-16, Philippians 3:4-14, John 12:1-8

The texts this week were troubling. They made me think about a question: What value do I put on my relationship with Jesus? My immediate response is “Of course He is #1 in my life!” But then as I read the John 12 passage I wondered how my life, how I live it, what I think, how does that reflect the real answer? The passages spoke again to me about how much God loves me. Simple message. Am I hearing it?

Love the LORD with all my heart. I rejoice that because of God’s faithfulness, our relationship continues to grow. Our walk is a daily walk. Our talks are daily and ongoing. Unlike what John Wesley discussed in his writings, I do not believe I will attain Christian perfection this side of heaven. I do not see myself as “arriving” to where He would like our relationship to be but continuing to grow.

Love others. I was reading a book recently, Wind and Whirlwind by Dr. David Moffett-Moore, and in it he spoke about how each church should have a mission or vision statement. It occurs to me that I should also know the mission that God has given me. That mission is about how I show my love for God through my love for others. It has been a true blessing to converse with God about the mission He has for me. It is a time of love. I want to “leak” that love all over others!

Love myself. I believe this is the area in my life in which I am most weak. Again, I am so grateful that God in His faithfulness and love has never given up on me. God made me. God put into me such love and gifts that were straight from His heart. What arrogance is it that I would not love what God had made? And so I have learned to reprogram myself to listen for the truth of what God says about me. What God says about me does not condemn; it does not humiliate or “dis” me. It convicts me to improves and encourages me in all my small steps and occasional leaps.

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.     Philippians 3:13b-14 (NLT)

The value is beyond a number. It is a treasure freely given – and freely received.

Silver and Gold written by Kirk Franklin


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