Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our Epistle reading from Philippians chapter 3, the apostle Paul makes a startling confession. He is someone of illustrious parentage. He has lived an exemplary life. He is, in fact, one of the more brilliant lights in his society. It did him no good.
Did Paul really waste all his time and effort earlier in life? Does he cast it all away as refuse? In fact, he doesn’t. He learns from it. But it’s a very hard lesson. He has to realize that all he was doing, all his goals, all his priorities, it all counted for nothing. Anything that separated Paul from Jesus, anything that stood in the way of his trusting God rather than trusting himself, it must be put behind him.
We also fall into the trap of trusting ourselves. Yet Paul tells very clearly that our trust in ourselves will do absolutely no good. It will simply hinder us. If we persist in trusting ourselves God’s response is that we can go ahead and earn our own salvation by being absolutely perfect. This is something we can never do. Rather, by grace, we learn to trust in Jesus and his perfection. That is eternal life.
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