Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oh wow, reading Philippians in the Amplified translation blew my mind!

7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ's sake.

8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

9And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[b]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11That if possible I may attain to the [[c]spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

12Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

15So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

16Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Falling in love with Simplicity

I've been meditating on 'the good news of Jesus,' going back to the foundation of salvation. It is for love that He sent His Son to pursue a relationship with me. It is for love that Jesus came as the perfect image of God the Father. It is for love that He has left me His Word to instruct me.
"For I have been saved through faith. And this was not my own doing; it was the gift of God, not a result of works, so that I cannot boast."
I've been asking the Lord to personalize my relationship with Him.
"For I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them."
It has created questions in me to seek the One who chose me to see what He desires that I may be used for. Think on that with me. If you identify yourself as 'in Christ' saved by God's grace, then boldly ask the One who has called you what He has called you to. If you identify yourself by anything but the Lord, then I challenge you with the question: what are you living for?
The good news of Jesus is so beautiful and so simple! He desires to set us free from the bondage of sin and give us a purpose. We no longer have to be enslaved to live for things that hold us captive, but we are free to live for a purpose beyond this life. He has brought purpose to our lives. He pursues after our hearts: He freed me of living for myself, to live for One who has loved me eternally.