Saturday, October 24, 2015

House on Fire

[Phl 3:7 NKJV] But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

[Phl 3:8 NKJV] Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

All things. A loss. Rubbish.

Imagine you are in a burning house. Flames are shooting up the curtains, and yet your family is sitting on the couch, watching the TV, even as display on the TV is melting from the heat. Even the cat is sitting on the couch and not running away. You plead with them, "Get out!" but they laugh at you as if you're making a big deal out of nothing.

More flames pour out from down the hall, and you can tell the house will collapse any second. The only thing a sane person can do is to escape out of the house. You try to drag your family off of the couch, and they fight back and tell you if you want to leave, then leave, but they like their lives just the way they are, and you can keep your opinions to yourself. The couch is burning, and they don't even try to avoid the fire.

The only thing left for you to do is to escape, and you do just that. You escape the burning house.

[Phl 3:9 NKJV] and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which [is] from the law, but that which [is] through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Not my righteous! I'd give up right now if it depended on me. I could not depend on my righteousness to get me out of bed, let alone get me to Heaven. JESUS, yes, His righteousness will safely bear me up to the presence of God Almighty. And Jesus is saying "All you have to do is ask."

[Phl 3:10 NKJV] that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
[Phl 3:11 NKJV] if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

If by any means, I may attain. Paul isn't bragging about how he's speaking prosperity to his wallet. He isn't saying he knows he's going to Heaven because of his hard work, or because God owes it to him. In fact, he is saying something that sounds a lot fragile the more you look at it, "... if by any means, I may attain..."

Of course God's promises are sure. Of course we have faith, but we have faith because we aren't there yet. Let's face it, until you die, you don't actually know for sure where you'll end up. That's why we have faith, that's why we have promises. A promise speaks to what has not yet come to pass. Faith speaks to that which has not yet been experienced. The disciples said to Jesus, "increase our faith". And there they were, physically standing next to Jesus!

If by any means I may attain.

[Phl 3:12 NKJV] Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

I have not yet attained. What rewards or what punishment awaits? Will it be "Well done good and faithful servant" or will it be "Depart from me, I never knew you"?

I don't know, but I tell you what, I press on. I travel this road not because it has a pot of gold at the end, but because I see Jesus at the end of it, and indeed, He is there along every mile of road. Sometimes He seems to be right next to me, and at times a million miles away. I press on.

[Phl 3:13 NKJV] Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
[Phl 3:14 NKJV] I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I don't need a rear-view mirror, because what is behind me is not worth remembering. I press on. The goal? The upward call of God, in Christ Jesus. "Come, abide with me."

[Mat 25:34 NKJV] "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

That, that is what I seek to attain.