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 and be found in him.
Take Out the Trash
Garbage day is a good day. Once a week, you get to take a large container and fill it up with all of the worthless and sometimes disgusting stuff that is only cluttering up the house. We can get rid of all that trash and never look back, knowing that it is gone forever.
Paul, the author of this verse, had come to realize the importance of taking out the spiritual trash. He uses the word garbage in describing things that he once viewed as profit. Many in Paul’s day were teaching that a person could be saved by what he did. Paul used to think that way too. But, the more Paul came to know Christ, the more he realized that all of those things he used to take pride in amounted to nothing more than spiritual garbage.
What about you? What kind of garbage do we rely on for the assurance of salvation? Maybe we figure that we are going to heaven because we do more good than bad or because we think we are better than most people. But that’s just it: we aren’t saved because of what we do or how good we think we are.
God’s Word encourages us to, “gain Christ and be found in him.” The only things worth trusting in are Christ and his cross and empty tomb. Only Christ was perfect for us. Only his death on the cross had value before God to pay our sinful debt. Only his empty tomb is powerful enough to open our graves on the last day.
Have you taken out the spiritual trash recently? Have you realized that even your best efforts at providing salvation are nothing more than garbage? Dear friends, it is time to take out the trash. Throw away all the garbage. Make room for what really saves. Like Paul, gain Christ and be found in him.
Dear Jesus, help me to get rid of all the spiritual garbage in my life. Forgive me for trusting in my own efforts and goodness. Help me to always be found in You. Amen.