POSSESSING OUR POSSESSIONS

Over the years, the newspaper will on occasion, print a long list of people to which the State of Arizona owes money.  These folk have never been aware of their due, or they think it too much trouble to go through the process of proving who they are and what and why they are to be the recipients.  It will not be necessary for me to go into the details of how this occurred, except to say the State cannot find them.  Noticeable is that my name has never been on the list.

In reading Philippians 3, I read how Paul the Apostle listed his background that he had previously thought was a great credit to his relationship to God: “circumcision, an Israelite, a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee, a persecutor of the church, and as to the Law, found blameless”; quite the pedigree in that location and time.

Having his conversion on the Road to Damascus, (Acts 9) he suddenly realizes that those very things were “loss” as compared to “the sake of Christ”.  In fact he goes on to say: “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”  Taking everything into account, he states further: “that I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Several things are evident in the Apostles thinking that stand out starkly.  First, is that FAITH in Jesus Christ demands a transition in life.  All the accepted things of the world for a “first class citizen” will be moved to oblivion.  Everything is now “tuned” around HIM.  Secondly, what you or I thought to be to our credit was actually “rubbish” before God.  Third, what the world thought to be victory was defeated by His resurrection.  Fourth, one cannot have both the old standard and the new standard.  When the apostle says “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” it is clear, that everything takes on new meaning when one receives Christ as the substitute for his sin. Value takes on new meaning.  What I have now, and in the future, is far more valuable than those things I previously thought to be “valuable”.  Together we are to strive to possess our possessions.

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