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Tuesday, May 9th, 2023




Sometimes we all put a little bit too much confidence in ourselves. We believe in Jesus, but we trust ourselves to provide what we need, seeing what we’re capable of as the reason for the degree of our blessings. If anyone should have trusted in their own abilities, it was Paul. He was of the highest pedigree, the highest intelligence, and in the highest class in his society. He could have done anything. But after being radically called to serve the Lord, he depended solely on the Lord. What’s more, he began to regard his high pedigree and talents as impediments to what was truly valuable in life: Christ. In Philippians he writes: “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..."


Similar to how Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven (as riches in life have a way of causing us to not feel we need Christ), so, too, do rich blessings of talent or intelligence have a way of making us to rely on ourselves. However, God makes no mistakes. Just as he gave Paul supreme abilities in preaching and writing, and then called him to found the Gentile church by preaching and writing, so, too, does God give us blessings to be used to His glory, not our own. Said another way, the gifts God gives us may be used for many purposes, but the truly fulfilling purposes, the one's that have real and eternal value, are the Lord’s. Spirit-filled equipping of His children is the most common way God moves in our world. Today, consider how you are using the gifts God has richly given you: are you depending on the gift itself, or the God bestowing it?


For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death," — Phil. 3:3-10

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