I consider everything a loss in comparison with the superior value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have lost everything for him, but what I lost I think of as sewer trash, so that I might gain Christ and be found in him. In Christ I have a righteousness that is not my own and that does not come from the Law but rather from the faithfulness of Christ. It is the righteousness of God that is based on faith. The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead.
Being a follower of Jesus is sort of strange if we are being honest. Think about it. What other organization's or club's sales pitch is, if you join us, not only do you get to consistently sacrifice of yourself but you are even called to be conformed to death with our founder! It doesn't sound that appealing on the surface, but billions of people have signed up for just that life.
Why would anyone do that? I think it is because, in God’s upside-down kingdom, gain is loss, and loss is gain. We find our greatest value not when we create gain for ourselves but when we give of ourselves, sacrificing and creating a Kingdom shaped world.
If you have ever been on a mission trip, helped someone else, or given of yourself for a greater cause, you know exactly what I am talking about. The idea of loss is gain may seem strange at first, but in God’s upside-down kingdom it makes perfect sense. The only real way to see is to take God at His word and give it a holy try. There are hosts of folk who have found it to be true. Hey, what have you got to lose???
I am so grateful that your ways are not our ways, God.
If it were up to me, I would just do for myself, look after myself, and care only for myself. I am so grateful that you save me from myself.
God, thank you for your call to sacrifice. In that sacrifice we find you.