Today’s bible study is Philippians 3:8: 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.
It’s very difficult for us to count all things as loss when we work so hard to attain them. We work to provide homes for our families and to maintain them so that they are comfortable, attractive and welcoming. We enjoy eating well and dressing well. We are happy to have a new car in the driveway. Is this wrong? It certainly doesn’t seem so. It seems to be the way we all live our lives, working for material necessities and a few luxuries. But, for the sake of Jesus Christ, would we lose all these things? Would we, much as Jesus and His disciples did, leave all material things behind and simply follow Him?
As Christians, how easy it would be to simply answer, ‘Yes.’ But would we? Would we give up out homes, our cars, our clothing, our appliances, our vacations, our computers, our televisions, and even our shoes? Unfortunately, we have to work with our spirituality in the context of the real world in which we live. We, in modern America, are expected to work. We are expected to do something with our lives. And, as a product of this, we provide houses, cars, furniture, educational opportunities for our children, and holiday gifts. We put food on the table and we are grateful to retire to our comfortable, safe beds at night. And it is surely not wrong to do this. We cannot and do not have to lose everything to become followers of Christ.
What we do have to do is make a distinction between the material and the spiritual. We can have a tremendously rich and rewarding spiritual life with Jesus our Savior whether we are wealthy or poor. Our love of God has nothing to do with whether we drive a Lexus or not. It does not even matter whether we are barefoot and naked. What is important is intertwining the physical and the spiritual and never letting the material become more important in our lives, since it could then become an idol that we worship rather than Christ the risen Lord.
Our portfolios can be counted, measured and liquidated. Our faith cannot. Richness in worldly goods and richness in Jesus are not mutually separate. Many very wealthy people also have extremely fulfilling spiritual lives and close connections with Jesus Christ. Conversely, some people who have little or nothing do not. These two constructs can coexist in our lives and work together to help make us the best people that we can hope to be. We much strive for the material, yet never count it as our only source of wealth. Our spiritual wealth, our strength to go on, our hope in difficult times and our promise of eternal life come from God. Let us, each day and in every way, increase our spiritual wealth. Let us not consider our belongings to be rubbish, but, by the same token, let us never turn them into false idols. Let the joy, peace and love of the Holy Spirit be our true wealth and salvation. You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series