Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Life held within the healthy exercise of giving and taking; this is the enjoyment of life as a whole and complete person.
Wherever there is life, there is a continual interchange of taking in and giving out, receiving and restoring. The nourishment I take in is given out again in the work I do; the impressions I receive, in the thoughts and feelings I express. The one depends on the other—the giving out ever increases the power of taking in.
The spiritual life and the physical life are never truly separated, rather each being a part of our wholeness.There are Christians who look at being blessed as consisting all in the privilege of ever receiving; they do not know how the capacity for receiving is only kept up and enlarged by continual giving up and giving out—how it is only in the emptiness that comes from the parting with what we have, that the divine fullness can flow in. It was a truth our Savior continually insisted on.
When Jesus spoke of selling all to secure the treasure, of losing our life to find it, of the compounding affect of blessings received to those who forsake all, He was expounding the need of self-sacrifice as the law of the kingdom for Himself as well as for His disciples. If we are really to abide in Christ, and to be found in Him—to have our life always and wholly in Him—we must each in measure say with Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . . that I may win Christ, and be found in Him."
In these truths, we want to realize that to be poor in spirit has nothing to do with our value. We are taking a position of being humble, seeking our heavenly Father's point of view, not trying to get God to agree with our wisdom. We all have different stuff; things, ideas or even relationships that we need to sacrifice on the alter in order to let go of self.
It is in the desire to grow as a follower of Christ that there comes the want of a deeper and more entire purging out of everything that is unholy. It is the wanting more of Christ that motivates us to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As we surrender our heart, our soul is led to see the need of a new act of surrender. These are the self-serving motives our soul wants to lead us into. It is when we act on these promptings that our sensitivity to being Spirit led tunes us into God's heart for our fellow man.
This is death to sin in Christ and an ongoing separation with everything that is sin as our Perfect Father matures each of us into healthy sons and daughters..
Availing ourself, in the strength of God’s Spirit, of that wonderful power of the divine nature by which the whole of one’s future life can be gathered up and disposed of in the exercising of our will. It is moment by moment and day by day, we yield ourself to sin no more—to be only and wholly a servant of righteousness. We do this in joyful assurance that every sin surrendered is gain indeed—room for the inflowing presence and the love of Christ. We truly become less so that He can become more in us.
What is the Holy Spirit talking to me about with this message?
Have I asked God to search my heart and reveal to me the things I place above Him?
When was the last time I felt compelled to examine what sinful habits I need to surrender to the Lord?
Who do I have in my life to help me see those habits I need to and ultimately want to surrender?