That I May Gain Christ
Categories: Devotional, Evangelism, Ministry, Prayer
Guest writing today on the Cross Church School of Ministry blog is Becca Borntragger. Becca is serving with the Cross Church School of Ministry on the Children’s Ministry track. Becca joins the CCSM from Farmington, Arkansas.
Philippians 3:7-9 reads, “For 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 that I may gain Christ.”
There are a lot of things I would love to write about. Today, I’m going to focus on Philippians 3:7 and two “gains” that I now count as loss. I will exchange the word “gain” with the two phrases as follows:
- Approval from others
- Worldly comfort
I count approval from others as loss compared to Christ.
I believe this in my head. This is an area that believers have to fight to believe within their own heart. There are a lot of decisions to be made every day that come down to this: Who am I trying to please? For example: do I want to make these plans for my future so I have an answer when others ask me the big question “what’s next?” Am I motivated by others in choosing my career path? When I speak on stage to my 300 precious children, age kindergarten through 5th grade, do I want to speak so that others will think highly of me or so that these kids will see the goodness of God alone? I am a people pleaser. In some cases, that’s not a bad thing. But when it comes to living either for man or God, it is a pride issue. When I choose to live for Christ alone, this desire to impress and be accepted by man dwindles. I know from experience that my relationship with God is greatly hindered when I am seeking approval from others. God sees me. He knows me.
I’m the type that gets discouraged easily. I want to do my best, and I can be hard on myself when I mess up. Doing “my best” means something completely different than what I’ve been taught by the world. Doing well means making much of God in the circumstances in which He’s placed you. “For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? For if I were trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
I count worldly comfort as loss compared to Christ.
I believe the opposite of desiring worldly comfort is having an eternal perspective. If you think about the day you see the face of Jesus, there are a lot of things that slowly lose their value, as they should. I think of the words of an old hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” When I think about how “our life is a mist” (James 4:14) I begin to realize the importance of ridding myself of my desire to live as comfortably as possible for the “mist” I am currently living. When I put God above my comforts, I will see them as an opportunity to point people to His goodness, not appearing a certain way to others, going back to the first point. I’m guilty of forgetting that I am actually going to see the face of Jesus, maybe sooner rather than later.
I am sure that the only thing that will ever matter in my life is how I lived for Jesus and what I did to make His goodness evident through my interactions with His people. My rank, reputation, academic achievements, job title, and salary are not what will last. These things can be good, even great. But when that’s where I put my hope, I lose. I lose sight of the rich life to which God has called me. Success in the eyes of my Savior means living as if He is the only one who sees my life and fighting to live out what I believe about Him. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8)