Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Philippians 3:4-12, "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Here in Philippians 3:8, Paul sums up all of his life's accomplishments in one word; Dung. How's that for an epitaph? On his grave marker could be the phrase, 'Born 01 B.C. - Died 65 A.D.' The dash between dates would stand for the whole of his life. Let's fill in the blank, shall we? It Probably would have read, DUNG had he not met Christ on the road to Damascus that fateful day.

The question comes to mind, What would be the words we might fill in when it's our time to go? Let's not think too highly of ourselves. Paul had a pretty impressive resume any of us might envy. His pedigree was noble, being from the tribe of Benjamin. He described himself as a "Hebrew of the Hebrews." As far as him adhering to the law, he was counted as a Pharisee; an expert in the law and tradition of the elders. He had zeal. He was blameless. He spoke many languages. He even persecuted those who he was taught were the enemies of the Jewish nation thinking he was doing God service and received pats on the back for ti! Yes sir! He had a pretty impressive resume alright! But, after he met Christ, he rethought his status as a pillar among his peers. He said that suffered the loss of ALL of those THINGS and counted them as dung. So, what am I getting at?

Simple. We're no different than the religious Paul we see before us in this passage. We count our accomplishments in 'Church' as Paul did at one time in his. We really think we're somebody. An attendance pin here, a row of pews with our name inscribed on it there. A position as deacon, trustee, elder, pastor, head usher, Sunday School teacher, nursery director, music minister, blah, blah, blah... I know of a faith based addictions Program that boasts of their success rate, expansion into many foreign countries and repetitive course completions to no end! They even give out awards of ribbons, plastic and pins attached to a lanyard that is worn around their necks all to show their accomplishments to others. They have their photos published in their magazines and hand out trophies at elaborate dinner banquets. There is one word Paul uses for all of that. Dung! He counted all of those things as a loss. He realized that Christ didn't take stock in these. Jesus was looking at the heart of Paul, not his accomplishments. Paul realized that he was wasting his efforts trying to emulate his hero's in the faith. Just think of the time and persistence he endured to achieve what others thought of as the brass ring of life. What he achieved in the world he knew was nothing more than manure in God's eyes. After the Lord caused Paul to go blind for three days, the Lord washed his eyes clean so that he could see the reality of what he was doing with his life. He was wasting it. God is looking into our hearts as well for the same reason.

Although, when we read the phrase in Scripture, "Lord, Lord,...?"it is talking about the 'lost' appealing to God for admittance into Heaven by virtue of their good works, we can, for illustration purposes, take this a step further and apply it to the saved who are wrapped up in the treadmill of endless duties and responsibilities to their 'Church' superiors. The only duty we have is to God, not the so-called "man of God" perched in our local pulpit. After receiving his sight, Paul had a new vision. That wanted to know Christ and be like Him. How many of us have emulated our pastors? C'mon; we can admit it, can't we? Well, I've got news for all of us. We as Believers in Jesus Christ should be emulating Him. That's what the name Christian means; to be Christ-like. We're not to be 'Pastor Feelgood-like.' That's preposterous! Some say, "Oh, Pastor says this or that..." My question to all of us is, 'What does Jesus say?' He said, "Follow me!" Even Paul steered our attention towards Jesus. Why? Because any other considerations towards focusing on ourselves as a means to glorying amounts to dung.

We can only get to know Christ the same way we get to know others. We need to build a relationship with Him. Did you know that one can be saved and have an almost non-existent or lack luster relationship with his Saviour? It's true. Not because Jesus didn't put any effort into it or that He is not available. It's because we haven't put much effort into it, or made ourselves available to Him!

Beginning to build a relationship with Jesus is easy. Why? Because He lives in us. We can't get any more personal than that. Now all we need to do is learn more about Him. His Word gives us that information. But more to the point, to have a successful relationship, there must be communication. Talk to Him. Ask questions. Tell Him of your innermost desires and concerns. Lean on Him. Desire and ask for His guidance. Ask with thanks, and listen for an answer in your hearts and within His Word. Even if we don't get what we feel we want, there is a purpose as to why we cannot have it at this time (or at all). But, know that He knows the reason why. Trust is a dependance on someone or something with no guarantees. Except in this case, we do have a guarantee. We have God's Word on it. We trusted Him with our souls. Let's trust Him with our everyday needs. That's a relationship. That's how we may know Him. The Scripture implies in vss 4-7, not to trust in our flesh. We need to trust Christ alone. If everything else in the Universe exploded, that's okay, as long as we have Jesus and He has us. Everything else is dung. Thanks for visiting ChurchPros.