But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
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
Paul states that he has suffered the loss of all things to gain Christ. What he is saying to us clearly, is that all else should be to us of no consequence; we need to know and be rightly related to our Lord Jesus Christ. He distills into two short verses, the essence of the Book of Job.
Job is a debate over 42 chapters of why the world is as it is, and why God doesn’t intervene in our lives and make everything fine. I am in pain and troubled. “Heal me, Lord!” In other words, “Grant my every desire!” If God became merely a wish-fulfilment entity, He becomes no different from the genie in ‘Aladdin’ — there to serve those with the lamp — while the reality in the life of every believer is to serve God. Otherwise, He be not God at all.
Serving another is always a higher calling, and requires diligence and commitment. Most of all it requires love — love of the task before you can help, but ultimately it means love for the one served. Serving requires putting your own needs aside, even to the point of suffering.
Job, as did Paul, learned that it was not enough to follow; we must be prepared to lose all. As Job says “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.“ [Job 13:15] The result will always be great gain.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job.
And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.
FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST, TO DIE IS GAIN
PRAYER requires DESIRE
“AND WHEN YOU pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites, For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
Watch your motive; does it arise from a real enchantment? (The word hypocrites here is really "play actors.") The main idea in the region of religion is — your eyes upon God, not on men. Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man. Get an inner chamber in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door and talk to God in secret. Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven.
[from ‘My Utmost For His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers]
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COMING NEXT… #492 THE STONE TAKEN AWAY
GEORGE and GILL STEWART