Gain And Loss

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Phil. 3:7

Learning to let God’s love swirl in and around me.

So much of our lives in western civilization has become a question of “what can I gain?” And “what might I lose?” Basically, it is all about me! The individual that is. Paul’s great passage in Philippians 3 is about gain and loss, but he looks at it from an eternal perspective. Because he is writing to people Who have become caught up in finding earthly titles and possessions their standard of worth, He lists many of his hard-earned accomplishments just to let them know he has indeed achieved a lot.

Then he takes a sharp turn in verse 7. “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” He continues that he has given up all the earned gain to know Christ.

v8…”in order that I may gain Christ and … the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” Not from my accomplishments.

Some of you are saying “yeah, yeah, not new!” And I am with you to a certain degree, but lately Abba has shown me how easily I default to depending on titles and accomplishments. Because I no longer have a single formal paid job, I naturally almost stutter when I asked “What do you do?” I do a lot! but none of it fits in one neat title that others can easily peg me with so the conversation can move along to the weather. For some time now I have given partial information to suit my audience as simply as I can. I have been uncomfortable not having a tidy answer.

Only last month, after years of “transition” did I pull myself out of denial. I even found myself in tears with my spiritual director when I finally admitted to myself that I have a “need” to prove my worth through titles and accomplishments.

I still struggle, but I am no longer in denial that I like my titles and accomplishments. Instead, I remember that I am first and forever a child of the King of Kings. My first love is to know God, His love, power, even His sufferings, death and resurrection. “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”  Verse 12

That’s really THE ultimate Gain! God made me HIS. That is the most important title I own. Everything else is easy to count as loss so I can have it. And I  received that most important gift freely by faith. Nothing I gained on my own can honestly compete with the perfect love of our Creator.

How are you doing with these gains and losses, eternally speaking? “I press on to make it my own….”

Inauguration: New…Or Is It?

This blog comes out on the day of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.

An Inauguration “is the beginning or introduction of a system, policy, or period.” But I do not want to talk about that inauguration. I believe God is inaugurating a new thing, not just in the US, but around the world. It is new but at the same time it is not new.

Fresh new buds on a tree in New England…in January! New, or is it?

I have read in Deuteronomy 7 this week. I have been struck by the repeated promises of God to His followers. He was addressing Israel, but anyone who follows our Creator is grafted in to these promises. [emphasis mine]

v6…The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession.

v8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers….

vKnow therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations….

The rest of the chapter repeatedly tells us “The Lord your God will.., or He will…, and the Lord will…,”

then

remember what the Lord your God did…,” and relates how God acted on their behalf in the past.

They were given a strong and difficult command, but with it came the promise “The Lord your God will…,” God is going to do it for them. This Old Testament promise fits with one of my favorite promises from God. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

In the spirit of inauguration REMEMBER: We have always been chosen by God. We have always been loved by God. These truths are the foundations of what God has always operated from and is inaugurating around the world in this season.

Be blessed with the knowledge that you are were chosen before time began; that you are God’s treasured possession; You are loved unconditionally; God is God and He is faithful; He will surely do it!