Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 12, 2017
By Tripp Prince
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7 (ESV)
“Who are you?” This is one of the most foundational questions anyone can ask, and one with which our culture seems largely obsessed. We long for significance, for meaning, for something unique and special and elite to be true of us. I think this is largely why we are so fascinated by things like a DNA genetics test or ancestry searches. We hope to find something that sets us apart from everyone else. We don’t go hunting to find that our ancestors were from Kansas!
Though genetic testing wasn’t available in Paul’s day, ancestry was still a big deal. Everyone knew where they came from, and that linage meant everything to them. It shaped their levels of influence, passed on power and prestige, and made them someone worthy of affection and attention. Paul checked every box in every category of desired identity for the Jewish people. As he essentially says, “just try and find anyone more perfectly Jewish than me” (Philippians 3:4)!
And yet, he says in the same breath that every single bit of this is now loss and something to freely let go of if it means he is able to know and be known by Christ. This isn’t hyperbole for him or a compelling illustration from a preacher trying to drive a point home. He had lots of gains, and lots to lose!
The more status, wealth, or knowledge you acquire, the harder it is to keep it from becoming a part of your core identity. These identities creep closer and closer to our hearts, becoming foundational and essential parts of our identity. “Who are you?” “I’m from a great family, wealthy, and well educated.” It comes out of us without even thinking! And if this isn’t your story, the danger still persists in the way you might aspire to such levels of success and status. “Who are you?” “I’m working on becoming someone significant and worthy of praise!”
Paul’s words remind us today of one of the greatest truths in the whole Bible. To find your true identity and purpose in life, you must reorient your core identity around Jesus. This is true of every single disciple, whether you have a great deal or very little at all.
The LORD wants to set you free from the identities that promise to give you meaning yet always break that promise and leave you confused and unfulfilled. Encounter the love of Jesus afresh today, and receive a new identity as a beloved daughter or son. That is who you truly are, and it is worth losing everything else in order to gain it!
PrayerFather, thank you for the amazing love poured out in Jesus Christ. May he be my all in all today and everyday. Amen.
ApplicationWhat identity are you still clinging to that’s keeping you from stepping into the joy of Christ today?
Related ReadingRomans 8:16; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 5:2
Post/Tweet todayOur true identity and purpose in life is found when our core identity is around Jesus. #WisdomHunters #trueidentity
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