Thursday, April 28, 2011

Loss As Gain

In the fitness and nutritional industry, loss (of fat) is considered gain. The same is true in matters of spiritual reality.
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ" (Philippians 3:7).
In the lives of His trusting children in Christ, God both orchestrates and allows loss. He furthermore leads us, as the Apostle Paul confessed, to voluntarily forego certain aspects of "gain" in order to glorify and reveal the Lord Jesus in our lives. As we walk with Him, a path of sacrifice will unfold before us. Our Heavenly Father will lead us in a very personal and private accounting of some things as excess baggage, as it were, concerning the experience and expression of Christ in our lives. Attitudes, perspectives, words, habits and ways of relating are laid on the altar as Scripture, the Holy Spirit and the example of other believers confirm to us that anything that hinders the knowledge of the Lord Jesus is no friend to us.
We reference not the sacrifices of legalism in this consideration, but of love. We do not offer the voluntary sacrifices such as Paul mentioned in order to gain increased acceptance or favor with God, or to further our spiritual reputation. We rather let go of some things because of the love of Christ and love for Christ. Our value of relationship with Him motivates and enables us to turn from hindrances to fellowship, communication and faithfulness. As the poet beautifully declared, "All things betray thee who betrayest Me."
Let us expect opportunities to loosen our grip on some things in order to freely embrace the one thing that alone fulfills our heart. Again, the issue will not involve the foreboding threat of a God who seeks merely to eliminate enjoyment from our lives, but rather the promise of a loving Father eternally devoted to our welfare and best interests. He delights in relationship with us, and He desires our experience of delight in relationship with Him (Proverbs 15:8).
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ."
(Philippians 3:8)
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
(Psalm 16:11)

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