Today I want to talk a little about the Apostle Paul. He started out as a Pharisee (Saul) who did not believe in this Jesus. He went about securing permission and orders to round up Christians. In the middle of that assignment he came in contact with Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Messiah. Saul was forever changed! We see this:
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.(KJV)
The Amplified Bible says:
4Though for myself I have [at least grounds] to rely on the flesh. If any other man considers that he has or seems to have reason to rely on the flesh and his physical and outward advantages, I have still more!
5Circumcised when I was eight days old, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew [and the son] of Hebrews; as to the observance of the Law I was of [the party of] the Pharisees,
6As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me.
Saul had it made! He had honor and respect. He had a position. But, after His encounter with Jesus, this is what Saul thought of all that:
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,(KJV)
The Amplified Bible Says it this way:
7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake.
8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),
Paul considered nothing in his life, before or after, worthy of being compared to "knowing" Jesus! In fact, in comparison, he considered all of those things to be as rubbish (one translation says "manure"). That should be our heart attitude. Nothing and no one should be more important than, or allowed to interfer with, our time spent with Him because getting to know Him is vital to our life as a believer.
Have a great day getting to know Him and we'll look further at this tomorrow!
Shalom in Him!