One Thing

Today’s readings are Judges 2 and Philippians 3:2-11.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil 3:7).

As the Apostle Paul writes from prison in this most powerful letter to his brothers and sisters at Philippi, he was concerned certain missionaries (Judaizers) would come and confuse people with their idea that salvation found only in faith in Christ, would be mixed with the idea that people would have to also yoke themselves with Jewish law (see Galatians).

You can see his concern clearly in v2, the whole tone of the letter changes which is surprising as the letter itself is fairly cheerful. It just shows you how seriously he takes the threat.

His point is clear, righteousness from God, the ability to stand before God only comes from the initiative that God takes in Christ. Any attempt to base our lives on human achievement or measure our worth by our accomplishments or even performance is to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ! In Galatians 1:6-7, such a “gospel” is a different gospel, which is no gospel at all.

In life for a Christian, we know the truth of the statement that if we seek everything we end up with nothing but if we seek Christ we gain all. This one thing was powerfully demonstrated at our church yesterday with the testimony of Dr Daniel Shayesteh. Apart from christ, everything else is rubbish. The term that is actually used means…manure.

For Paul his desire to know Christ is powerful, nothing would get in his way. He wanted to know Christ and have this expressed in every area of his life. He did not seek comfort or security, he did not even consider suffering an obstacle.

As we all run the race marked out for us, maybe today is a good time to re-dedicate ourselves to this most worthwhile and singular pursuit. This is “one thing” that I want. How about you?



One thought on “One Thing

  1. Thank you Ian. I think that whilst listening to Daniel on Sunday I was so moved by the suffering that he had to endure. It is something that for many of us is quite foreign. The question is though are you willing to suffer for the sake of knowing Christ. Are you willing to stay in a difficult marriage for the sake of knowing Christ? Where your partner hates the fact that you are a Christian because he/she didn’t marry a Christian? Are you willing to stay in a difficult work environment where you are teased for being a disciple of Jesus – that is if they know by your actions and the words you speak that you are a Christian. At school are you willing to stand up and perhaps shunned because you follow Jesus? This is part of taking up of our cross and following Christ. Don’t expect everyone to like you because you are a Christian. But the beauty is that you can share in the sufferings of Christ, He understands and He give Grace to each one who needs it. May we hunger for more of Him and desire to live lives that we can partake in the fellowship of suffering for the sake of the Gospel.

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