August 10th, 2023 – Very Early Thursday Morning
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” ~Philippians 3:2-7
What really matters to you?
Money? Fame? Popularity? Intelligence? Beauty? Being admired by others? Having a good reputation? Using your talents? Gaining knowledge? Being right about everything? Winning every argument? Dotting every i and crossing every t? Having and holding your family and friends close? Living a long life? ?? ?? ??
Or, is it knowing and being known by Christ?
Understand, not all of the things mentioned in the long list above are wrong or sinful in and of themselves; however, if they do not ultimately flow out of an abiding relationship with the Living God, they will be rooted in the sinful heart of pride and self-confidence. There are only two options: We either trust in and submit to the flesh – our sinful nature that is contemptible, corrupt, and deceitful above all else – or we trust in and submit to the God who gave us both physical and spiritual life – spiritually through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
Paul minced no words when addressing the danger of the false, Judaizing teachers that were a threat to the Philippian Church. In the same way, we must not leave any room for any allowance for the flesh; just as those false teachers sought to recapture the believers of Philippi with a false confidence in the flesh, so our flesh will always to seek to recapture our attention, affection, and devotion by trying to turn our eyes away from Jesus and onto ourselves, our trouble, our accomplishments, etc.
The reality is that nothing that this life offers can compare to knowing Jesus. Paul counted all of his grand abilities, accomplishments, and status as something to be lost in contrast to Christ. In fact, he had to lose them in order to be able to accept the mercy and grace of God on His merits, not Paul’s. The flesh is not able to support any confidence, whereas Christ is the Rock of Ages that is from everlasting to everlasting. In light of that, who wouldn’t trade in worthless and empty “confidence” in the flesh for a sure and steadfast Hope that enters into and emanates from the very presence of God? He never disappoints those who trust Him!
How about you and I? What really matters to us? Have we found the real Treasure that is worth losing everything for?