Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Philippians 3:7-21

7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.
8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.<br><br>

12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame; and they are focused on earthly things. 20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.

Read More Of His Words

Paul’s words to the Philippians are chosen with deliberation and intention. He says he is actively viewing everything that once seemed important to him before knowing Jesus through the lens of now having Christ. From that perspective, he now considers everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ.

Paul had suffered significant loss, but compared to knowing Jesus, it was nothing more than a bunch of manure or smelly garbage containing rotten food; it had no appeal! Paul had a new perspective about what was once so valuable to him. He had a new focus and future, to know Christ and be conformed to His death.

“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (Philippians 3:10)

Sister, the gospel (Jesus’ sacrificial death and literal resurrection) is not just one part of our lives. When we get to know Jesus, everything changes. The gospel applies to everything and every aspect of our lives. There really is no power of death to separate us from Love in Jesus when we know Christ and His power to kill our old sin nature along with its desires!

Twenty years before missionary John G. Paton went to the South Pacific Islands, a group of missionaries were killed by cannibals there. When Paton decided to go, a friend warned him of the danger likely awaiting him. Bluntly, Paton replied, “Sir, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms.”

Paton had been drenched in the same grace of which Paul wrote. He understood what was and was not truly valuable. It brought him to tears as he prayed for the believers to know Jesus in the same way.

What’s the motivation for this kind of faith?
The power of the cross! (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
What caused Paul to grieve?
The destruction and the destiny of the enemies of the cross. (Philippians 3:18-19)
Paul’s focus was no longer earthly but heavenly.

Sister, we have been given a promise. Like Paul, we look ahead toward our sure future.

“Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Today's Pause Challenge

1)Read Philippians 3:7-21 out loud today, twice. Slowly. Linger over those words that stick out to you, slowing and listening as God’s Spirit speaks to your heart! Write out verse 12 on a notecard and place it somewhere you won’t miss its message. If you are able, add it to the verses you’ve been memorizing this week. Rehearse verses 12-14 this weekend.
 
2) This weekend, put Pause VI Week Two playlist on repeat and be reminded of the rich truths God has shown you this week in Pause! Know that we prayed for you as we prepared this study!

3) Read Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian leaders in Acts 20:17-31 to fully grasp how much Paul loved the believers and wanted them to know Jesus!

4) Continue your memory work: Philippians 3:13-14

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Pause VI
Day 9

Paul exhorts (biblically, that’s earnest advice) the reader to be aware of anyone who would lead them to add anything to their salvation. As if anyone could add anything! Paul certainly never preached grace for his own benefit! He was persecuted harshly precisely because he preached the truth that we can only be rescued from our death sentence earned by our sin if we solely trust in Christ alone through faith alone, without a drop of our own work. (Ephesians 2:8-9) He was demoted from respected teacher of the Law to imprisoned apostle. All for one reason: Jesus crucified! He had reminded them that everything else was useless for salvation. It was all Christ.

Can We Pray With You?

Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!

This Week's Lock Screen
Jan 2 - Jan 20, 2023 - Journey Theme #112

Authentically living out a life of worship to the God who rescued us from darkness requires accountability and intentionality. Join a GT POD and take the next step in your faith journey!

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