SCRIPTURE: Psalm 89-92 Philippians 3
Philippians 3: 7, 8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Chris Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may win Christ.”
Someone has rightly said, “When we get little, we want more, when we get more, we desire more; but when we lose everything, we realize little was enough”
When Saul of Tarsus was blinded on the Damascus road, his whole life took a dramatic turn. Until the Damascus toad experience¸ Saul’s intentions were intentions of greatness. He aimed to rise in the Jewish community until he was seated on the Sanhedrin court. The Sanhedrin was the Supreme Court of its day. Saul’s educational goals took him to the feet of Gamaliel. He would not settle for merely receiving the training of the synagogue school. The feet of Gamaliel was tantamount to being the Harvard of its day. Saul would pledge himself to seeing to the purity of the Jewish religion by either killing or incarcerating anyone who believed otherwise.
Paul’s mission to profit Judaism became a mission of personal loss to Saul. He lost his name. It became Paul. He temporarily lost his sight in exchange for a vision from Jesus. He lost his mission to destroy to acquire a mission to build the Kingdom of God. “Whatever was to his profit he now considered loss for the sake of Christ.”
Isn’t it amazing that we who have taken Jesus by faith find it possible that strength can spring forth from weakness, and that contentment can emerge from whatever dilemma in which we might find ourselves.
The words of the noted martyr, Jim Elliot, have found their way to the flyleaf of my Bible. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” In 1956, Jim Elliot, with four of his fellow missionaries lost their lives in an Amazon jungle while they attempted to share the Gospel with the Auca Indians. In losing their lives, which they could not keep, they gained eternal life which they could not lose. Out of their loss came much profit, not only for them, but for the tribe that martyred them who have now received the Gospel
The profound gift of Jesus Christ to the world is the fact that he “laid down” his life so that we could experience the gift of forgiveness from sin. It has been His example that has energized hundreds of millions of people to lay down their lives for gain of others.