“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Written by: Russ Ripley
This time of year, many of us reflect on the previous year. We commit to “resolutions” like eating better, exercising more, and reading our Bible more. My guess is you have done this every New Year and “trying harder, doing better” just does not seem to be working.
In Philippians 3, Paul gives us a different way of approaching change. First, he recounts all of his accomplishments as a good Jewish man—his heritage as a Hebrew, his following of religious rights and traditions, his position as a leader in that religious community, and even his persecution of the early Church. Then he states something remarkable. He counts all that as “rubbish.” He looks at all he has done and says it is all garbage.
How do you look back at 2019? Do you have accomplishments and successes? Or was it a difficult year with loss and failure? Either way, Paul says it is all garbage. How can he say that?
Philippians 3:8 holds the answer. I like the New Living Translation of verse 8 which states, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
All of our “stuff” is worthless compared to knowing Jesus Christ. Paul compares all of his accomplishments and successes and says compared to his ultimate goal, knowing the God of the universe, those other things are worthless.
Thought of the day: How do you look back at 2019? Can you leave it behind and “press on” to knowing Jesus more in 2020?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this past year. I know You have been with me through everything. Help me not to focus on past successes and failures. I do not see what You have for me in the future. I know You always want what is best for me. Help me to focus on knowing Jesus more in 2020. Amen.