Gleanings – Downwardly Mobile Rocks

Philippians 3:1-11

“Put no confidence in the flesh.”

Yeah right! It is all that matters. At least that is what I have been taught my entire life. Grades matter. Sports matter. Extracurricular activities matter. Honors matter. College matters. All these things are planks in a résumé. They build a pedigree. Those things matter if you want to get ahead.

And Paul says for the Christian they have no value. And he should know. He is not dissing people with a résumé. He can’t. Because his own is without rival. He recites it for us – properly circumcised, Jew, right family, pure blood, understands law, zealous in defense of Judaism and persecutor of its enemies, and finally righteous (without moral blemish). Yikes! Who can compete with that? He is not Alpha male. He is perfect man.

But to Paul the follower of Jesus, all that is refuse or rubbish. Something incomparably greater comes to the believer. Through faith the believer gains a real righteousness from one who has actually lived the law perfectly and the power of the resurrection to transform a life. Through faith one gets to share in suffering which changes the world just as Jesus did. These things matter, now.

What once mattered versus what matters now means we followers of Jesus are inherently downwardly mobile people. We are moving from that which the world values, status, to that which is supreme in the Kingdom, living and suffering for the welfare of others, for the life changing transformation of the world. One cannot pursue both with equal zeal. One set of values must be subordinate to the other.

I had a 19 mile run one day last week in a week of 46 miles. Marathon training is going better than expected. Hooray! And, so what!?

I prayed for my family this morning. I reached out to friend of many years whose circumstances might isolate him and make him incredibly lonely. Now we are getting somewhere.

2 Responses to “Gleanings – Downwardly Mobile Rocks”

  • Jamie Holman Says:

    This is definitely a struggle. Not just for adults but also for kids growing up in our city. Thanks for the reminder.

    “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

  • Tiffany Denson Says:

    My feelings exactly! I feel so blessed to have learned this in my own personal journey. All glory is His. We miss you more than you know.

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