All My “Creds” are Garbage??? – Joy in Believing – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 3b) [9]

I ended the last post, Yeah, but I’ve Got the “Creds”!!  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3a)   [8], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-sk, with a seemingly hopeless statement from Paul as he reflected on his academic and religious accomplishments.

He said,  “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him”…  – Phil. 3:7-9a

Although it seems like Paul is throwing “everything” away,

                           9-Man-throwing-garbage-bag-1024x769

this isn’t exactly the case.

It wasn’t a matter of Paul suddenly forgetting all his education, his knowledge, his upbringing.  No, it was Paul’s realization that no matter what he did, or how “religious” he was, he could never “earn” himself a spot in heaven.

What he believed caused him to take matters into his own hands.  Caused him to imprison and attack Christ-followers in the name of God.  Caused him to judge, and force people to follow what he believed to be correct.  A dangerous approach, if you ask me.  However, isn’t it easy to find ourselves falling into that same pattern.  “I know what’s better for you…”

Throughout his life, Paul, was relying on himself.  He truly wanted to please God.  He truly wanted all people to follow God.  He believed that through knowledge and will-power he would be able to follow the “law”, and therefore be considered righteous in God’s eyes.  However, The law simply shows us how sinful we are.  –  Romans 3:20  For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.  – James 2:10

Do you remember Paul’s message to the Corinthians – If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  –  1 Corinthians 13:33

What a change in Paul’s approach!!  He retained his knowledge, education, and upbringing so he could teach, but instead of coming at people with an iron fist,

                                          ironfist

he came from a position of love.

                                     cute-love-quotes-373

 

WHAT CAUSED THIS SEISMIC SHIFT?

Let’s look again at verse 9, and add in the second half of the verse.

“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.  For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”Philippians 3:9b

FAITH?  FAITH IN WHAT?

< Faith in “Creds”? or Faith in Christ?  –  Joy in Believing –  PHILIPPIANS  (Chapter 3)   [10],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-t9 >

 

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Don’t Become a “Victim” of Poor Choices… – PROVERBS 2:12-15 [3]

Now you are free from the power of sin   shackles  and have become followers of God. Now you do the things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. – Romans 6:22

 

12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
    from those whose words are twisted.
13 These men turn from the right way
    to walk down dark paths.
14 They take pleasure in doing wrong,
    and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
15 Their actions are crooked,
    and their ways are wrong.

Wisdom is protective, it will save us, verse 12.  One way Wisdom saves us is by protecting us from evil people, as described in verses 12-15.

Evil people’s path:
v.13 – they do not follow the godly path, but dark path
v.14 – they enjoy their ungodly and twisted ways
v.15 – their actions and ways of doing “things” are crooked and wrong

Camera 360                twistedpainting

 

BUT there is help!!

Verse 12 reminds us that applying knowledge (wisdom) protects us from becoming “victims” of poor choices, or falling for unfilled promises of smooth-talkers.  Wisdom protects us from people who twist the truth, enticing and tempting us to choose an ungodly path.
These types of people remind me on the serpent in the garden, twisting God’s words and tempting Eve – Genesis 3:1-7, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A1-7&version=NLT                                                                                                                                                 <    Or   >
A wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing. – Matthew 7:15 – Looks sweet and safe on the
outside, but is actually very dangerous.

Thankfully God loves us so much that He provides us with help.  An escape route when we find ourselves in tempting situations     – WISDOM –

REMEMBER:

  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.   
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out, provide a way of escape, so that you can endure it.  –  1 Corinthians 10:13

–  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5

 

Warning!!! – The Stove is HOT!!!! – PROVERBS – Chapter 1g – 1:29-33 [10 of out 10]

LORD Almighty, blessed are those who trust in you. – Psalm 84:12

 

29))  Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the Lord,
30))  and they would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,
31))  THEREFORE, they shall eat the fruit of their way,
    and have their fill of their own devices.
32))  For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33))  BUT whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

 

We learned from verse 25, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-5E, that – People turn away from all my advice. They wouldn’t accept my warning.  And here again in verse 30 we read, they despised all my counsel.
All people are in search of a road that leads to “happiness”.      Good Mood Ahead                                         Yet, in verses 29-33, we read that people often end up making choices that take them on a curvy path.  winding-twisted-road-sign1 Their path ends up being curvy because the choose their own way vs. the Creator’s counsel and guidance – v.30.

The result of following our own way:  They’ll GET their own way, for better or worse.  Sadly, as verse 32 says, the simple are killed by turning away, by doing their own thing.  Instead of heeding the warnings, like the stove is hot – don’t touch it,   dont_touch      they proceed to touch,  and…     clipart hand_burn     Again, it’s not that the person in this illustration was not warned, he was, yet he chose his own way.  In this case, and often in our everyday choices, the result was/can be painful.

The result of following wisdom?                                                                                                               v.33 – Whoever listens to me                                                 

  • will dwell secure
  • will be at ease
  • (will be) without dread of disaster

Ummm, which path would you take, wisdom’s or the simple’s/fool’s?    decision scale