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Priceless

March 21st, 2018

Many things are prized; Christ alone is priceless.

 “Everything is worthless when compared with knowing Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:8 NLT

My thoughts today are about things that are, “priceless.”

Priceless things do not always come with a price tag. Yesterday, I received a few digital copies of old family photographs. The originals from which they were copied were tattered by time, but immeasurably valuable to me. They were glimpses of our family history and heritage, my paternal grandparents, including my sister and I with our New York cousins. And a photo of my uncle Ralph, a proud marine who never returned from WW2. Another was of my parents as a young couple, apparently taken before I was born.  And one of my sister on her first birthday. Those pictures would be noteworthy to no one other than our family and myself. But to me, they are priceless.

Everyone has some things that hold special meaning tucked away safely or secretly somewhere. Such objects are rarely viewed as costly or valuable to anyone else. But to that one to whom they belong they are prized possessions. Usually, our valuable things are tucked securely in safe deposit boxes or may be paraded proudly and publicly before friends and neighbors as signs of our success, such as houses, cars, jewelry, college degrees, awards of recognition, expensive recreational toys, and things like that. None of those are bad on their own; none of them good enough on their own.

The Apostle Paul listed many proud achievements about which he could brag and boast. “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Read Philippians  3:7-8 NLT.

Paul successfully checked off all the required boxes of religious, social, and political success. Those prized accomplishments identified who he was, how well he had done, and how important he was. But when he added it all up, he saw the inadequacy and emptiness of all that. “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 2 Corinthians 10:18 NIV.

“Breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples,” Saul asked for and received letters of authority from the High Priest to imprison those troublesome followers of the recently crucified Jesus. Read Acts 9:1-5 NIV. While enroute to Damascus, Saul dramatically encountered the Risen Christ and viewed everything that he once counted as his life’s net worth, as worthless. Many things are prized; Christ alone is priceless. After his traumatic encounter with Christ, Paul’s singular, surpassing purpose became his passion to know Jesus personally and intimately.

Paul wrote, “Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-10 NLT/NKJV. While in college, “That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection,” became my life-verse; it still remains so today.

What prized possessions do you hold in a tight grip, or those that hold you in an even tighter grip? There are things that money cannot buy. Can anything at all actually compare with the true wealth of knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, Who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17-18 NIV. Christ alone is priceless.

Today I pray for you to allow nothing and no one to become as important to you as Jesus.

 

Christian Communications 2018-4610

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Prized Possessions

April 6th, 2010

“Everything else is worthless when compared with . . knowing Christ.” Philippians 3:8 NIV

“Many things are prized; only Christ is priceless.”

My thoughts today are about “prized possessions.”

Everyone has some things tucked away somewhere that hold special meaning to them. Those things do not always have to be costly or valuable to anyone but themselves, but they have become prized possessions. I don’t know a lot about little girls, but I have observed a lot about my grandsons, that I know was also true of myself as a lad.

I think every little boy has a box of some shape or description tucked away in a secret place, hidden from others’ curiosity or siblings’ spying eyes. If and when you are privileged to be shown those special things, as individual and unique as each little boy, they may not look like much to you – trinkets, cool smooth rocks, arrowheads, pocket knives, etc. – but to that child they are prized possessions.

Adults have them too. I saw a clever bumper sticker, the 20th century’s literature of sound bite philosophy replaced by Twitter’s 140 characters in our 21st century, “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” Usually, ours are tucked securely in safe deposit boxes or may on the other hand be paraded proudly before friends and neighbors as signs of our success – houses, cars, jewelry, college degrees, awards of recognition, expensive recreational toys, and things like that – none of those bad on their own; none of them good enough on their own.

The Apostle Paul listed many prized possessions about which he could brag and boast. Read Philippians 3:4-14 NIV. Paul successfully checked off all the required boxes of religious, social, and political success – prized possessions that identified who he was, how well he had done, and how important he was. But when he added it all up, he saw the inadequacy and emptiness of all that. See 2 Corinthians 10:18 NIV.

After his dramatic – even traumatic – encounter with Christ enroute to Damascus to imprison these troublesome followers of the recently crucified Jesus (Read Acts 9), Paul saw anything and everything as worthless that he once counted as his life’s net worth, when his surpassing objective became knowing Jesus. Many things are prized; only Christ is priceless.

“I once thought these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-10 NLT/NKJV. That 10th verse became my life-verse while in college; it is still today!

What prized possessions do you hold fast and on which you depend? Can anything – anything at all – really compare with the true wealth of knowing Christ personally? 1 John 5:20-21 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that nothing is allowed to be more important than Jesus.

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