7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 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 9 and become one with him.
Dear Lord Jesus, as I meditate on Paul’s words, I catch the aroma of a free man, a heart man, a joyful man, a graced man—a man I want to become more like. Things he once treasured became Paul’s “garbage.” Old stuff that used to consume him, no longer even amused him. Knowing you claimed exclusive rights on the category “infinite value” in Paul’s life. How irresistibly attractive.
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Jesus, though I’m not as free as Paul, I am already as justified as he is. For I too can say—unabashedly and unreservedly, that you are my righteousness. I don’t trust in anything in my heart or hands for my acceptance with God—not my obedience or sincerity, not my doing more or trying harder, not my service or my repentance.
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death.
That is why I can say with Paul, I want to know you better and better, Jesus—more intimately, more fully… resulting in greater joy and generosity; and a willingness to live more simply and to simply live for your glory.
Grant me more of the power of your Spirit to love well—to love holiness, people, and my community. Give me more of the power of your Spirit to suffer well with you, Jesus. Give me your heart, tears, and compassion… for the broken people and broken places in my world. So very Amen I pray, in your lovely and loving name.