SanLo Community, an update for the week of May 6, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from Philippians 3:7-11, “When Having it All, is Nothing at All.” Joy in the Lord is the underlying theme in Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi. Rejoice is used 43 times throughout this letter even though Paul is writing while he is imprisoned, chained to a Roman guard 24/7. From this context, Paul reminds followers of Christ that the joy of the Lord is in all circumstances. Though Paul had it all, it was nothing at all, compared to his relationship with Jesus. For him, all of his status, power, and wealth next to Jesus meant nothing. Paul realized that having it all is not what you own or have accomplished, but true wealth is in the person of Jesus. Enjoy spending time with Jesus.
What does it mean to have it all in Jesus?
1) Having it all means you VALUE your RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. (vv.7-9) When we place our relationship with Jesus above all else then we begin to understand why Paul considered all he accomplished and had as garbage. The worth of our connection to Jesus is often taken for granted. Verse 7, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Paul is saying, having it all, is nothing at all, next to Jesus. Paul was a loyal Jew who had never lost the ability to speak Hebrew even in the Greek culture he lived in. He was a Pharisee, who were the strictest and most self-disciplined of Jewish religious leaders. His zeal for what he had thought was the cause of God was so great he had followers of Jesus arrested and killed. He was found blameless according to the Law. Paul rubbed shoulders with the highest of the highest. He was of the elite among the religious Jewish community, now sitting chained to a Roman guard with no privacy or rights. Yet even in this dismal and humbling circumstance, Paul realized the status, power and wealth he had was nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus. All of his life he tried to get into a right relationship with God through strict obedience to the Jewish law. But when he met Jesus, he discovered that only by taking Jesus Christ at His word, and receiving the grace of God can anyone be saved and made right before the Father. The emptiness of what Paul had accumulated is demonstrated by the way he describes all that he had compared to Jesus as rubbish at the end of verse 8. More accurately the Greek word for rubbish is excrement or a pile of poop. His choice of this word shows the utter disgust he had for the law compared to the joy he found in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We are inundated with ideas and philosophies that teach us to value other things more than Jesus. When our time on earth is complete, all that really matters is where we are going to land, with God or without Him. Your accomplishments and wealth may be appreciated but the lasting legacy you leave is how much you valued your relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul realized the significance of Jesus in his life and placed a high value upon this relationship. Through this understanding, he was able to rejoice while imprisoned.
2) Having it all means you LIVE in the POWER of Jesus. (vv.10-11) The power of Jesus that Paul writes about in this passage is the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit that brought Jesus back to life three days after His death on the cross. Death is the final and most complete challenge of life because it marks the end. When you live in the resurrection power of Jesus, there is really nothing in this world to fear because ultimately we who live in the power of Jesus have already overcome life’s final battle. For the follower of Christ, death is the beginning of a new, more wonderful, and complete life with God forever. Living in the power of Jesus is living in the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit who instills strength from within that prevents destruction from outside pressures. The Apostle John assures us, the one who is in you, the Holy Spirit, is greater than the one who is in the world. John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation (pressure), but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Followers of Christ will never be crushed. You may be shaken but never destroyed. Living in the power of Jesus is living in the power of the Holy Spirit who provides the strength to withstand and overcome any pressures you may encounter. This is the resurrection power of Jesus that we have inside us. Having it all is living in this power each and every day.
God lifted the “spiritual fog” from the eyes of Paul while he was traveling to Damascus. Once Paul truly saw Jesus he could see clearly the road he was to travel. At times in our walk with Jesus, the vision of the path He is leading sometimes gets foggy. What is this spiritual fog? It might be the busyness or business in our lives. Maybe it’s letting fear overtake faith in God’s next steps for you. We are traveling down the road with the light of His Word but maybe our view is being limited. Seek and ask God to lift the fog whatever it may be. What fog may be preventing you from seeing that “Having it All Is Nothing at All” compared to Jesus?
NAOMI House (Native American Outreach Ministries, Inc.) in Arizona, is a safe and loving home for Native American children in need. This July 21st through 27th is the 5th year SanLo will be sending a team there. We are a team of 26. (Allison and Jadey shared in the first service and Amy and Raymi shared in the second service). It is not about what and who we are, but it is by the grace of God that we have Jesus Christ in our lives, so we can serve the people of NAOMI House in the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Our prayer is that we can love, serve, and bless the children and staff of NAOMI House that they might be encouraged to live in Christ as they deal with the issues of their lives. Our team will come and go but we hope to convey through our theme that in Jesus, they are, “Always Remembered.” We ask for your prayers for our team as we prepare to serve in the kitchen, VBS, Youth and construction projects. We ask that you please pray: For the Lord’s provision of financial needs; For safe travels; For team unity; and for the children at NAOMI House to know Jesus more.