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3/30/16 - Believers think spiritually and not worldly

Published: Wednesday, 30 March 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

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 – righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.   Philippians 3:8-9

The impact of these verses on a Christian is so important to living the abundant life here on earth.  God’s purpose for your life after becoming a Christian is to change the way you think about things.  Instead of worldly thinking, God will bring into your life those events that will cause you to consider things from a spiritual or eternal perspective.  This kind of thinking is a huge jolt to many Christians, because of the importance and the priority we have placed on the things of this world.

 

For example, consider the property that your house sits on.  We want to make sure that our neighbors are cutting their grass on time, not putting their garbage cans out too early, keeping up the appearance of the neighborhood, not painting their house school bus yellow.  Why?  Because our focus is on our property value, we don’t want it to decrease but increase.   The verses above tell us that Paul would not be worried about those things, because he is thinking of his heavenly home.  He is thinking of his eternal life to be lived with God.  It doesn’t matter if your neighbor plants some bushes on your property line or even on your property.  God would consider your relationship with that neighbor of higher value than those bushes.  You can do this only if you consider everything you have and own as rubbish so that you may know Christ.  You will be exercising your faith by keeping a healthy relationship with your neighbors so that they will see Christ in you.

Not only do we place an inordinate value on our property, we also place the wrong value on what is inside of our homes.  When we purchase carpet and furnishings to make our home look good, we do not want our children, or the neighborhood kids, or our grandchildren to ruin any of our “stuff.”  We read the “riot act” to our children to keep them from ruining our “stuff.”  May I suggest that we need to remember that children are like the “Kingdom of God”?  It would surprise you how much children can teach us about the things of God if we would give up protecting and worrying over our earthly possessions and spend more time with children.    

Finally, our righteousness does not come from anything on this earth.  This is probably the most abused term for us as Believers.  We want to place a self-righteous value based on the things we do or we possess on this earth (like the things discussed above).  Listen!  There is nothing on this earth that will make you righteous.  Your most righteous work on this earth should be considered as rubbish.  That’s what Paul thought about all of his “good deeds.”  Our righteousness comes from God alone and is given to us freely by the work of Christ on the cross.  This should be the focus of our lives, as Believers, on this earth.  Others will see the faith you have when you consider everything about you as nothing.  It will take faith to “give up” the stock market, your home, your property, and your furnishings.  Others will take a second look at you when you don’t get upset at losing any value in these earthy items.  They will want to know how you do it.  That’s the eternal purpose that God has for your life:  to tell others what Christ has done for you.

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