To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2016 Issue – Straight from the Heart, ‘I have you in my heart … all of you share God’s grace with me’ Philippians 1:7
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Philippians 3:7-11 (NIVUK): ” … But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 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.
I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Selwyn continues his discussion from yesterday and reminds us that the only kind of relationship that really transforms our lives is a personal relationship with Jesus, our Lord and God.
He writes this in his conclusion: “Paul had gained a relationship with Jesus and knew that in the future he was sure he would be found in Christ; with covenant membership not guaranteed by the law, right of birth, a particular upbringing, ritual (circumcision) or anything else but given by God to those who believe in Jesus.”
In the prayer for today, we pray that we may attain a single-minded devotion to Jesus and Him alone. I think one of the hardest things for an independent human to do, is to let go of all that we depend upon and to place our trust in the gospel of grace, that though the love of Jesus we are given the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven, and this is a totally free gift. That is, we as sinners (and we all have sinned) are made righteous (good) in the eyes of God through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus.
It often saddens me when I hear someone say, about the death of a person: “Oh, they were a ‘good’ person, they must be in heaven.” If, they were not found in Christ, by God; then they are not in heaven.
It is the gift of righteousness given to us by God that makes us children of God; how ‘good’ we may appear to other people is not a reliable measure. The repentant thief, crucified next to Jesus had no time to live a ‘good’ life, but he was given a place in paradise, as a free, unearned gift.