Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's the Missing Word?

What word is missing in the verses below?

But whatever was to my profit I now consider ___________ for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a __________ compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have ___________ all things.
(Philippians 3:7-8a, NIV)

See the answer below.

Over the weekend the news coverage was all about Hurricane Gustav and how New Orleans would fair in its path. Many people wondered if once they returned home everything they owned might be lost.

During that same weekend, we were repairing the drywall in our basement. We had covered up a crack in one of the walls. We hoped not to lose any more items, such as carpet or furniture in the future.

Have you ever owned an automobile that was in a wreck? Sometimes when the car is beyond repair, when the cost of fixing it is more than the value of the vehicle, the insurance company considers it a total loss.

We will do nearly anything to keep from losing things, losing face, losing our dignity, losing a game, or losing items we've paid for and worked hard to acquire.

So how countercultural is the passage above, where the Apostle Paul is telling us that he considers EVERYTHING a loss for the sake of being in relationship with Jesus. Nothing else matters. Not his comfort. Not his safety. Not what would make life pleasant for him.

He intentionally loses everything!

His words are a wake-up call to those of us looking for the me-first, easy road of Christian faith. Ultimately, this passage tells us, everything in my life needs to be laid down, set aside, lost for His sake.

Can't you hear His call? "Nothing else matters. Lose your life for my sake and you'll save it. Try to save it and you'll lose it."

I'm mulling that one over today because the words are so challenging and difficult.

I hope you give some thought to that one too.

ANSWER: The word is "loss" (the first two times and "lost" in the third space).

Grace & peace

No comments: