October 18 – Prison Letters – Changing Your Past Perspective and Future Pursuits

Read Philippians 3:1-14

Rejoice in the Lord . . . put no confidence in the flesh.

Christianity’s focus is not self.  It is the Savior.  It is not my accomplishments.  It is Christ’s sacrifice.  It is not your pedigree.  It is Christ’s passion.

Just think about Paul.

If anyone had reason to focus on self, lifetime accomplishments, and personal pedigree, he was the one.  He was born a Jew from one of the elite tribes.  Starting with his circumcision at eight days old, he had kept the requirements of the Old Testament law as well as anyone could.  His zeal for the rules of faith was depicted in his membership in a privileged group called “Pharisees.”  He was pleased with his own accomplishments and highly revered by others.

But then came his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.

That encounter changed his perspective for the rest of his life.  Those things once categorized as “gains” were now placed in the “loss” column.  Those things once seen as boast-worthy were now inconsequential.  It wasn’t that any one of those aspects of his past was bad, but not one of them individually nor all of them collectively endeared him to the Lord.

Now, there was something of superior value to him.  Of foremost priority was knowing Christ . . . being found in Him.  Paul’s current grasp of those truths caused him to rejoice immensely.  And his desire to understand and experience more of that reality caused him to strain intensely.  He committed his life energy to that end.  His focus had become the Savior.

That encounter on the road to Damascus impacted how he viewed his past and what he pursued in the future.

In light of what Christ has done for you, does your perspective of the past need to change?  Do you need to ascribe different value to previous accomplishments because you now see what really matters?

In light of the countless realities about Christ which you do not yet fully grasp, do your aspirations for the future need to change?  Do you need to redefine your life goal and the prize you are pursuing?

Steve Kern

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