ALL THINGS NEW
Read: Philippians 3:3-9
3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (NIV Philippians 3:3-9)
Study: As a New Year approaches, it’s natural for most of us to take stock of our life, reviewing where we’ve been and looking ahead to where we hope to go. The apostle Paul took stock of his life in his letter to the Philippians. He said that, in the past, he had human “credentials” that could match the best, a promising career as a member of the Jewish ruling council. But he’d written off all those “assets” in order to know Christ and live in his gift of righteousness. Review Paul’s list of “assets” in verses 5 and 6. What might be some modern equivalents to which we’d be tempted to lay claim, in church, in business, in the academic world, or in any other area of activity? What heart issues could turn these outward badges of service and achievement into things we’d need to discard in order to serve Christ wholeheartedly?
Prayer: O Lord, my prayer this New Year’s Eve is, as the old hymn said, “Live out thy life within me, O Jesus, king of kings.” Dwell in my heart as the New Year begins. Amen.