“Christ Jesus The Focus!”(Phi.3:7-11).
The story is told of an old man of fifty-eight, who after listening to one of the captivating messages of Martin Luther King Jr remarked, “When I grow up I’ll want to be like King.”
To the old man King was a role model. A role model must not necessarily be older than those who look up to him/her as their model.
The Son of Man who in his humanity has impacted the world more than any other person in history was younger than Luther King Jr.
From the time of Jesus to this day millions of people – both high and low – older than the Lord Jesus Christ want to be like him.
To be like the Lord Jesus requires forgetting self, minimising self-worth and following the mind of Christ.
Paul tells the story of his life, his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, his experience with him and his gains for knowing him, so that we can gain the secrets of knowing Christ fully.
Water in a container becomes stale if it is not used. To fill the container with new water, the old content must be spilled. So it is with us when we are in Christ. That is what it means to become new creations.
Paul constantly used his experience of a new creation as a testimony worth emulating. To the Philippians he wrote, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, become like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
All denominations without exception have in subtle ways propagated the “Food Gospel or Prosperity Gospel.” We believe so much in Christ for him to change our stories if things are bad, or to make it permanent if we are already comfortable. But life has two sides which must weigh proportionately.
If we learn from Paul, he is advocating the other side. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish…”
We can never get enough of Christ. It should be our deepest desires like Paul, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…”
Paul finished this bit of his life story by suggesting, “All of us who are mature should take such view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you”(Phi.3:25).
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit help me to gain Christ, be found in him and have a righteousness that comes from God. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Prayer point: Pray fixing your eyes on things above.
Rev Babila Fochang.