Thank God that I have "no righteousness of my own." I was writing an email to a friend tonight and thought I had a blog topic, but after reading a friend's blog I felt "divinely inspired."
In Paul's letter to the Philippian's he writes:
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and 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 and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
That is only the beginning folks. In my small group devotional we read these verses a few weeks ago, but reading them now is like reading them for the first time. I consider myself so lucky to have the things I have, to feel the love that I feel, and to be blessed with earthly blessings, BUT ALL of these things are rubbish compared to the love of Christ. To simply knowing our Lord. I am not required or expected to have any righteousness on my own, of my own volition, but instead and made righteous just by knowing Christ? You have got to be crazy to agree to that deal, but our God did. He must be crazy. :) And so, to know Christ, I must share in his sufferings. I must be brought to my knees, and I must see the people I love be brought to their knees to know Christ's love, to know what he can do in the midst of those sufferings.
"12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. "
We have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, rather Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). God doesn't expect to see our lives changed overnight, and neither should we expect to see this from ourselves, but through knowing him - through the good times and the suffering - gives us the ability to forget what we were, and press on towards the prize, heaven.
So, all of this being said, here is our hope:
"18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
By knowing Christ, we will see our bodies transformed. Our new selves will nto even resemble our old selves and this will be under Jesus' control. Because we are all foreigners in this world, we don't belong here. We live, to know Christ and NOTHING else because our citizenship is in heaven. We will one day be able to trade our earthly pain and sufferings, but for now they serve the GREATEST purpose: To bring us closer to knowing our Savior and Creator, the only thing that is not rubbish. My gosh we all got tough stuff, but the promise never fades. Doesn't get much better than that.
What God promises is that He always, always comes. He always shows up. He always saves. He always rescues. His timing is not ours. But what we can know, what we settle in our soul, is that He is faithful to come when we call. Angela Thomas