More Of Him, Less Of Me
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
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 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; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:1-11
While I was pastoring a church early in my ministry, my daughter Libby asked me, “Dad, are we famous?” To which I replied, “No, Libby, we’re not famous.” She thought for a moment and then said rather indignantly, “Well, we would be if more people knew about us!”
Poor Libby! Only 7 years old and already struggling with what many of us struggle with throughout life: Who recognizes us, and are we getting the recognition we think we deserve?
Our desire for recognition wouldn’t be such a problem if it didn’t tend to replace Jesus as the focus of our attention. But being absorbed with ourselves crowds Him out of the picture.
Life cannot be all about us and all about Jesus at the same time. This makes Paul’s statement that he counted “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ” (Phil. 3:8 esv) strategically important. Faced with a choice between himself and Jesus, Paul intentionally discarded the things that would draw attention to himself so he could concentrate on knowing and experiencing Jesus (vv.7-8,10).
For us, the decision is the same. Will we live to draw attention to ourselves? Or will we focus on the privilege of knowing and experiencing Jesus more intimately?
Do our choices bring honor to God or to us?
The devotional message, “More Of Him, Less Of Me”, was written by Pastor Dr. Joe Stowell, and appeared in “Our Daily Bread”, www.odb.org, September 7, 2014. Used here with permission from the website.