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.
It’s one of my favourite verses ever.
Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians, and I think this is the best part of it.
I consider everything a loss.
Paul didn’t say some things, he said EVERYTHING.
He said he considers all things GARBAGE.
I like a lot of things in life.
I like food. I definitely like food. Especially ramen. I love ramen.
I like clothes. I like the Internet. I like playing board games.
There are so many things that are pretty awesome in this world.
But Paul . . . that guy.
He was nuts.
Sure he didn’t have ramen during his time, but I’m pretty sure there were some pretty cool stuff during his time (minty lamb chops, anyone?). Things that entertain the senses, things that consume time, things that garner attention.
Skydiving, concerts, brownies, Nutella, coffee dates, Mario Kart, sending stickers on Messenger, Netflix binging, We Bare Bears, falling in love, stars, mountains, cacti, so many amazing things in this world . . .
But Paul wasn’t concerned about this world. He was concerned about things far greater than Nutella (hard to believe right) . . . things above and beyond this world.
To Paul, that was Jesus.
I think a defining point in our faith is when we can become like Paul. When we can disregard everything else. In Paul’s words, “I consider those things garbage.” Garbage.
Paul was a master of LOSING.
In our day and age, losing is not very popular. It’s all about winning now! It’s all about being the best, being handsomer, being prettier, having all the latest clothes, being able to do this, being able to do that . . .
The world wants us to be perfect. Anything less is rejected.
But the reality is, we can’t be perfect. We’re riddled with weakness. We’re riddled with insecurities.
And we’re so obsessed with trying to hide that. Trying to pretend we’re perfect.
Then here comes Paul. He didn’t care about any of that. He didn’t care about what the world thought about him. He didn’t care that he wasn’t perfect.
Because he had a perfect God. And Paul knew the secret to life!
He knew that nothing else mattered but Jesus.
Even before Jesus EXISTED, the Bible already gave examples of people who knew this. Crazy right?
1000 years before Jesus was born, King Solomon was regarded the wisest man in all of the region.
And he made a thesis, an epitome of everything he discovered about this world, called Ecclesiastes.
Wanna know what he said.
Everything is meaningless.
The wisest man in the world, he knew that everything was meaningless. King Solomon was someone who experienced every single pleasure under the sun. He had the finest food, lived in the most beautiful palace, he even had 300 wives and 700 concubines! That guy seriously had everything this world could offer.
But even he knew that at the end of the day, nothing else mattered.
Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Now what am I trying to say?
I’m not saying stop going to school. Stop working. Stop doing anything, because nothing really matters.
No, in fact the book of Proverbs was an entire book about why we all need to work.
My question to you is, what are you trying to pursue?
What is really in your heart?
Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
What do you desire the most? What is your real priority?
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord. The keyword is WORKING FOR THE LORD.
Is everything you do in your life working for the Lord?
Is the way you act in school, the same way Jesus would act, or something else?
Are the things you do after school bringing you closer or separating you further from God?
Because at the end of the day, everything is GARBAGE compared to the SURPASSING WORTH of KNOWING JESUS CHRIST.
Look at the specific words Paul used: he said KNOWING. Just simply KNOWING Christ is surpassing of ALL THINGS. ALL THINGS.
That blows me away.
God is asking you and me, am I your priority? Or are other things?
Are you living for the day or for the Ancient of Days?
God is totally okay with you eating ramen. God is totally okay with you wanting to be rich. God is totally okay with you pursuing your girl (provided that’s a Godly relationship in the first place . . .)
But His question to you (and me), is the sum of all your work for Jesus? For knowing Jesus more? For bringing Jesus to others?
Paul understood that. King Solomon understood that. And King Solomon didn’t even have Jesus to believe in yet!
But Jesus is here now.
What I’m trying to say with all of this . . . nothing else matters but Jesus. Everything is meaningless, but Jesus.
Psalm 7:23, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.”
Only Jesus has your back. Only Jesus loves you unconditionally. Only in Jesus do you have a forever.
So my invitation to you is to ask yourself, are the things in your life reflecting a life towards Jesus? When you sing that song, “Jesus Christ, you are my one desire, Lord hear my only cry, to know you all my life” do you mean it? Can you consider all things a loss because of your Saviour? Because if you can’t . . . then maybe you haven’t gotten to know Him yet.
Jesus loves you so much.
And unlike the world, he’s not asking you to be perfect. He’s asking for a personal relationship with you. So that through Him, you will be perfected. In your weakness, He will provide you with strength. In your lacking, He will provide all things.
The Bible says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Are you ready to seek first God’s kingdom?
If you were disturbed by this message, if you felt God was knocking on the door of your heart, I want you to pray this prayer with me:
I’m sorry. God, thank you for your unfailing mercy. I’m sorry for not putting you first. I’m sorry for not following your call. I’m sorry for all my sins and all my failures. God, I know I can’t do this alone. I need you. I need you more than ever. Help me to remember to put You first, at all times. To really make you my everything. I choose you over everything. And most importantly, I consider all things a loss because of knowing the surpassing worth of You. Amen.
Now that’s something to think about while slurping on a bowl of ramen.
PS. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to post on Wednesday again! I’m really trying to get my head wrapped around writing for this blog again, and I really apologise for being tardy. I’m trying my best!
PPS. If you prayed that prayer, if you want to know Jesus more, I’m going to invite you again to Youth High, a weekly gathering of young people that want more Jesus in their lives. It’s held in Meeting Room 2, PICC, every Sunday, at 11:45 am. Hope to see you there!