We are all pulled in many different directions every day. The world we live in is constantly trying to distract us from our primary mission as followers of Jesus – to serve God by serving others. When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he offered a simple prayer that began with an appeal for love. He then prayed for discernment so that their love would have clear direction that would benefit others.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
Later in his letter, Paul makes it clear that the things found in this world are total trash when compared to his relationship with Jesus. It’s easy for us to get caught up in accumulating the necessities of this world and then go beyond to extravagance when we have a little extra money. The truth Paul is teaching, told from his personal experience, is that nothing compares to knowing Jesus. There is no amount of wealth found in this world that even comes close to the value of knowing Christ.
“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 3:8
Paul lived a life consumed with Christ’s teachings. Paul continuously shared the gospel, served others, prayed, and worshiped in an effort to fulfill his mission. Although our lives are completely different, we also have a similar mission. If we are living for Jesus, we should also be sharing the gospel at every opportunity, serving others, praying, and worshiping God with a sincere heart. Early in his letter to the Philippians, Paul makes it clear that his life of service to God here in this world is only a stepping stone to his eternal existence with Jesus. Paul was fully committed to his work but ready to move on to be with Jesus when called.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
The enemy wants us all to be focused on our problems and day-to-day struggles. That diversion is only a tool used to keep us from living for Jesus. When we wake up each day considering the teachings of Jesus, filling our hearts with love, and focused on others rather than ourselves, we are pointed in the right direction. Above everything – let it be Jesus.
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