Feb 15th 2021 · Day 46
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In Philippians 3, we learn something of Paul’s life before he met Jesus. He was a religious man with an impressive heritage, morally ‘blameless’ (v. 6). But as soon as he encountered the living Christ, all that had once meant everything to him suddenly became as ‘rubbish’ (v. 8).
Realising that all our righteous works are not the way to salvation (Isaiah 64:6), that we cannot earn eternal life, that it is a gift of God, is life-changing. When Jesus died on the cross, He was paying the price for our selfishness; He then rose from the dead. Discovering Jesus will change our whole perspective on life – past and present; in fact, it can turn everything upside down.
Our social standing, our status, our heritage, even carrying out charitable acts will never make us right with God. What a challenge this is, especially to our pride! But if we have accepted that we can never be good enough to get right with a holy and perfect God, if we ask Jesus for His forgiveness and mercy, He is able to give us a new, clean life, and the power to live it. From that connection with Him, that relationship, flows good deeds – good fruit. But the good deeds in themselves won’t save us.
Paul says he was forgetting what was behind – all the ‘rubbish’! – and pressing ‘on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (v. 14). It can be hard to forget about our past, especially if we’ve said and done things we regret. But we can’t walk forwards while constantly looking back. We need to be free to move into the new things that God has for us – the good fruit that comes from walking with Him!
Pause and reflect: Maybe your past isn’t full of religious good works, or high status. Perhaps it is full of something (or someone) you’d rather forget. Maybe you find you can’t, and it’s hindering your walk. Do you want to be free to move forwards? Talk to Jesus about it. Perhaps share with a Christian friend or leader you trust.
Sheila Jacobs is a Christian writer and editor, and an award-winning author. She is also a retreat leader and day chaplain at a retreat house. She loves listening to people’s stories, and encouraging writers to hone their
potential. She is passionate about pursuing God and helping others meet with Jesus.
© Victory Church UK 2021