Lessons from Paul – 1

I LOVE reading the writings of Paul.  He is so real and very to the point.  So, I thought I would share a little of my quiet time with you.

Philippians 3 (The Message)

To Know Him Personally

1 And that’s about it, friends. Be glad in God! I don’t mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don’t mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry—so here goes.2-6Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.

7-9The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

10-11I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

Ouch!  How often can I get caught up in being self-righteous.  Never purposefully, but simply because I get caught up in the world, and what people think.  Who cares what people think?!?  Knowing Christ personally…really personally.  Trusting Him in every detail of life.  Forgetting all your “credentials” (because really, who gave you said credentials).  I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. Whew!  Can I live like that?  Can I really learn to not care at all what the world thinks and simply follow God?  I think I can!  Afterall, flip over one chapter in Philippians and Paul reminds us “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Awesome!

Be Blessed!

-De

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