October 17, 2015
All of us appreciate a good accounting system, even if we are not the ones administering it. You are grateful when you go to a store, that they will only charge you what is advertised. In business, you want to know how things will be recorded and have a clear understanding of what will be done, particularly when it’s your money that is involved.
God has an accounting system and Paul, when finally enlightened, realized that it was completely opposite of what he had operated under for years.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ... (Philippians 3:7-8)
GAIN AND LOSS
Every accounting system operates on the principle of gain or loss, assets and liabilities, credits or debits.
For years Paul had lived to gain things for himself—self-glory, attention, fame, possessions, etc. But he finally realized that this was completely opposite of how God accounted and what was valuable. All the things he had put in the ""gain"" column were actually ""loss"" and vice versa.
Finally he had come to see the eternal, Divine system and he began to live for something else and receive something else, laying up treasures that would really pay off for all eternity.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11)
Here were the true assets: having true righteousness which comes through faith in Christ, gaining Christ, being found in Him, knowing Him, experiencing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death and experiencing the eternal resurrection into the new kingdom in heaven.
Paul had been sinking deeper and deeper into a Divine deficit for years. When he was rescued by the one who gives the final accounting, everything changed. What was once valuable was not merely lesser, it was seen as a total loss. Having been corrected, he now lived for what mattered and lasts.
What do you consider your greatest assets? List them right now. And then let the One who understands and who has the final say evaluate what you are living for and valuing. What a tragedy to “gain the whole world and lose your soul,” as Jesus said.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023