“If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised.., of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;.. as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own… One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…
“Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” Philippians 3:4-14,20-4:1
Paul had every reason for earthly confidence, every credential for worldly worth. But when the Spirit of God met him, He changed how he viewed the adornments of his flesh and captured his soul for Jesus. Now, to know and be like his Savior was his motivation, and to make Him known his aim. For the sake of Christ he counted his gains loss and rubbish, nothing compared to the greatness of knowing Him. Nothing surpassed the worth of identifying with Christ, the power of His resurrection and His sufferings. This consumed him, for this he strained forward and pressed on. (Acts 9:1-20)
So his Savior had done for him, and so he would live. What brought the realization of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus and living in His power was understanding what He had by grace done, and freely given. For the love of His own, Jesus counted everything as loss for surpassing worth of knowing and saving us. He gave up everything, willingly ‘counting as loss’ His own glory to humble Himself unto death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-11)
What does Christ’s surpassing worth mean for us in practical terms? Are there things and activities and dreams we treasure more, that prevent us from giving our all for Him? What do we idolize that we need count as rubbish, in order to know Him better? Have we applied the power of His resurrection so we can bear suffering with grace and gratitude? What entertainment and activities do we need leave behind in order to press on to maturity?
Lord Jesus, may Your worth ever captivate and amaze me. Identify and change what is needed that I might press on to know and praise You as You deserve.