August 6, 2012

What Is The Noblest Cause?

How high is the price on everything you have? Every right earned, every privilege inherited, every pleasure known?  (Not just your material possessions. Your family; every friendship you have known; your good reputation; your craft; your ear for the music you love; your eyesight. Everything. The things that make you. The things you hope for. All of it.) What would be the cost of throwing it away?

I can think of a few noble-sounding causes. Maybe if every person in the world could hear the sound of the Gospel, I would give it all. Maybe for you, it is your children; if that's what it took for them to know Jesus, you'd give it all up.

Well, friend, you had better stop imagining. The thing you are looking for is right under your nose. Paul and Timothy wrote, in their letter to the Philippians: "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." What strikes me about this verse is the immediacy of it. This is not a contingency; it is a reality. Paul speaks as if he has already lost everything he has. What he still has, he does not claim. He has already accounted it gone, the "accounts payable" of gaining a relationship with his master. How precious is knowing Jesus to you? Do you truly value Him above everything? Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." He also says, "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."  Have you already lost every thing that you have, or are you still looking for a nobler cause?

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