Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Ambition – After the Message

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Philippians 3:7-11

Living The Jesus Way – The Way of Ambition – After the Message

Before Paul was converted to Christianity, he was Saul of Tarsus and Saul of Tarsus was a horrible man. He hated God, Christians, and made it his life purpose to persecute and kill Christians. His reputation preceded him, and everyone knew who he was and what he stood for. At one point, he asked the high priest for letters to the synagogues at Damascus so that if he found any believers he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.  As he traveled down that dirt road to Damascus, he, and the men travelling with him, were suddenly blinded by a bright light. It knocked him right to the ground and he heard a voice saying… Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Then the voice told Paul to get up and go into the city where he would be told what to do next. The men that were travelling with Saul were speechless. They heard it too but could not see anyone. Saul got up, still blinded and they led him into Damascus. For the next three days, he was blind, and he didn’t eat or drink.  When his eyes were opened, he became a zealous witness for the Lord, and the Lord changed his name to Paul. When God wants to get our attention, He will take whatever measures are necessary.

In our passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about our vision and how our vision needs to stay focused on Him so we will not be distracted from God and His purpose in our lives. I think it is interesting that God blinded Paul in his conversion experience. Perhaps Paul was such a hard case that he needed an extreme experience and a literal blinding from his old ways. There are days when I would welcome a blinding light from Jesus to take everything else, every other distraction, away so that I am focused only on Him. God wanted Paul’s full attention with no distractions. During and after those three days of blindness, not only was he was focused on God, but he became a very powerful witness for the very God he hated in the past. 

After the Message: Read Philippians 3:1-21. What were Paul’s qualifications? What was his goal? How did he plan to achieve it? What would be the result of his pursuit?

In Philippians Paul talks about his qualifications and how they don’t matter at all in our relationship with God. He qualifies us. Paul had all the reason to be confident in himself.

Paul was distinguished member of society:  

He was circumcised on the eight day.

He was an Israelite, descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, making him an heir to God’s covenant with them.

He was from the distinguished tribe of Benjamin.

He was a Hebrew.

He was a Pharisee – noted for their devotion to keeping the law.

He was considered righteousness. 


Paul learned that even though he was all these things, he still fell short of God’s standard. His heart had been transformed as well so none of this mattered to him anymore. He knew the only important thing in life was knowing Jesus and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, and eternal life.

Paul goes on to say that he will leave the past in the past and reach forward to what is ahead, pursing the prize – living a life in Jesus Christ, culminating in eternal life.

What are you pursuing today? Are you hanging on to all your credentials, constantly on the go doing all the things? This is religion, not a relationship with Jesus Christ. At the foot of the cross those credentials will not be recognized. They are only for earthly gain. Spend your time pursuing Him and living The Jesus Way.


Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

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