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Count Them but Rubbish

December 22, 2017

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Count Them but Rubbish

During this Christmas tide,  people are looking for all sorts of things  to satisfy their longings.     As they hold tightly  onto the things  of this world,  they vaguely realize  that all this is transitory.     Nothing here  will last forever.

There is only one gift  we can receive  in this world  and be able to keep it  eternally  —  only one worthwhile  and deeply satisfying gift.    The apostle Paul received  that gift  and he wasn’t willing  to give it up  for anything  in the world.     And,  he discovered  that the more he shared this gift  with others,  the more he had  of it.     Paul tells us  about his gift  in Philippians 3:8-11,

 I count all things  to be loss  in view  of the surpassing value  of knowing Christ Jesus  my Lord,  for whom I have suffered the loss  of all things,  and count them  but rubbish  in order  that I may gain Christ,  and 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.

What are you willing  to give up  in order  to keep the gift  of Christ?

Paul was most willing  to suffer  and give up  all sorts  of comforts.     He left the comforts  of family and friends,  home and riches  —  just because he truly wanted  to “be found  in Him,  not having a righteousness  of my own”.     Paul had received the gift  of righteousness  by putting his faith  in Jesus Christ.     He realized  that this was the only thing  worth having  in this world.

This gift of righteousness is  for everyone  who puts their faith  in Christ.     The angels announced this gift  for all of us,  no matter  who we are,  when they announced the birth  of the world’s Savior  to the shepherds.     In Luke 2:10-12 is written,

And the angel said  to them,  “Do not be afraid;  for behold,  I bring you good news  of a great joy  which shall be  for all the people;  for today  in the city  of David  there has been born  for you  a Savior,  who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign  for you:  you will find a baby  wrapped in cloths,  and lying  in a manger.”

As Paul realized,  the gift of the Christ  and His righteousness  is not something we hoard  just for ourselves.     This is a gift  to be shared  because it is “for all  the people”.     Yes,  the angel also specified  “there has been born  for you  a Savior”,  and that is  so that no one will feel  like they are not included.     We are not  to shy away  from accepting God’s gift  for us.     God truly wants us  to accept the righteousness  of Christ  through faith.

Being too proud  to accept this gift  is not wise either.     There are many  who reject Christ  because they don’t want  to accept His righteousness  as a gift.     They proudly and wrongly  assert  that they are totally capable  of being righteous  all by their own efforts.    They are looking  upon their rags  as being riches.     As Isaiah 64:6 says,

For all of us  have become  like one  who is unclean,   
And all  our righteous deeds are  like a filthy garment.

God does not see us  like we proudly  like to see ourselves.     People often refuse  to look at their sins,  and adamantly deny their spiritual filthiness.     Since God is holy  and speaks only truth,  we need  to face the truth.     It is only  as we come  to face the truth  about our sins  that we will be able  to receive the Gift  of all gifts  —  true righteousness  in Christ  through faith.

As we rejoice  in being clean  and righteous  in Christ,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  we are  so glad  that you were born  for all of us.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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