Read: Philippians 3:7-11
Can you think back to the best gift you ever received? Maybe it was for Christmas or your birthday. Perhaps it was a new bike or your first car.
Where is that gift now?
Maybe you keep your favorite gift on a shelf, or parked safely in your garage. But, if you’re like most of us, the best gift you’ve ever received wound up in the trash can. Eventually all of the best gifts do, because earthly things don’t last. They wind up being garbage.
In this passage, the “things” Paul is talking about are his credentials. His achievements of faith. His place in the church.
But “things” can be anything that gets in the way of truly knowing who Jesus is.
The perfect gift we receive on Christmas morning must not be more important than the One who we are celebrating. The job we slave over must not take priority over the relationship we build with Christ. The ministries we devote our time to mustn’t make us too busy to forget who we’re working for.
Our good grades aren’t as important as our Father in Heaven.
We all have “things” that take up space in our homes, or in our hearts. Paul knew this, and he knew what to do when he discovered his relationship with Christ was the most important thing in his life. He counted the rest as garbage. His old job, his achievements, his position in his community, his stuff. It was all garbage, because it didn’t matter as much as his relationship with Jesus.
Paul wanted to know Jesus like we know our closest friend. He wanted a real relationship with Him. He knew no material possession or social standing was as important as knowing who Jesus is and getting to experience all that comes with that relationship.
Let’s take out the garbage today, so we can make some room for Jesus.
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This holiday season, reflect on your relationship with Jesus. What do you need to throw in the garbage so you can make room for Him?
What is one thing you have already gotten rid of to make room for a relationship for Jesus?
How does having a relationship with Jesus change our desire for “stuff?”
God, please draw us near to you. Help us see ways to grow our relationship with you. Help us to see what needs to be counted as garbage. Thank you for your faithfulness, even when we put other things before you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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