Everything Else Is Worthless

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So yesterday, I had a Scripture on my mind all day. I woke up early and read Paul’s letter to the Philippians. There is a statement he makes, that just floored me.

“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 on 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.” — Philippans 3:8-9, NLT

It took me awhile to wrap my head around such a statement. So I dug around Scripture for some time, really trying to understand this issue. To me, my family is a rather large priority. At times I can get my priorities messed up, and place them before God. So I started to question how they could be worthless in comparison to Christ, and God lead me to another passage from Paul.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body to be burned; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” — 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NLT

But I do love others. I honestly could do a better job loving you, if you aren’t my wife or children. So I didn’t quite understand yet what God was trying to piece together for me. So He lead me yet to one final place.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” — 1 John 3:16, NLT

There it was! The only reason I know how to love my family is because of Jesus! There are so many other things that come from a relationship with Christ, like salvation from my sins. But yesterday, I discovered that it is only because of my relationship with Christ, that I have the life I do, and I am so thankful for it. I can now see that it is worthless when standing next to Jesus. He is my God and my Savior. There is no higher relation to me! This doesn’t mean my family is no longer important. It just means that I have a higher priority than them.

The way Paul says it in Philippians shows us that we must keep Christ at the center of our lives. He must have the highest place in our hearts for worship. Everything must pale in comparison to Christ! If this isn’t true for you, I encourage you to seek Scripture and pray for God to show you how you have given Him a lower priority than He deserves, and how to change that. Our lives are meant to be Christ-centeric, not anything else.

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What Your Heart Looks Like

David being anointed in the Bible miniseries
David being anointed in the Bible miniseries

Continuing on with reading in 1 Samuel, we have finally come to David, the man I intended to begin this blog with. But the Lord clearly had other plans since I began with Saul.

Up to this point we have seen Israel gain a king, and we’ve seen that king rise and fall. God then decided to make a new king, “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 NLT). But we have yet to see who this new king is. It wasn’t until after Saul disobeyed God over the Amalekites that Samuel was sent to anoint a new king.

Samuel is sent (by God) to the town of Bethlehem to meet with a man named Jesse and his sons, in order to anoint one as king. (Now Jesse is the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. This isn’t important to the story, but I like to see how biblical characters are related!) Jesse brings along 7 of his sons. Yet God tells Samuel “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord look at the heart.” (16:7b NLT) Upon seeing these 7 sons, God does not chose any other them. Which leads Samuel to ask if there are more sons, to which Jesse replies that there is one more. Upon meeting David, God tells Samuel to anoint him.

This decision of God’s is based solely on David’s character, not his outward appearance. So what does that mean to us? As the Psalmist writes “O Lord, You have searched me and known me.” “You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1,3 NASB) This says to me that God knows us better than we may even know ourselves (definitely more than another person can).

This means we cannot hide things from God. Just because we maybe alone does not give us permission to act in an un-Christian way. We must be Christian all the time, otherwise our hearts do not truly belong to God, and He knows it. I am reminded of a scene from the movieĀ Left Behind. After the Rapture happens, an associate pastor is left behind. The scene shows him praying to God, lamenting that he knows what has happened but God’s gaze pierced into his heart to know the truth. From that point on wards the pastor is a changed man.

God wants us to be that changed man. Not because something terrible has happened, but because we chose to be. God wants us men to be searching for His will for our lives, so we can lead our families and the Church according to Him. This change, this task, is most certainly the first step in becoming a man after God’s own heart.

So I encourage you today to think about your own life and walk with the Lord. If you have to make changes, than do it today! God desires to be close to you, and our souls are searching to be close to Him. So look for that time, and just have a conversation with God today.