In Christ Alone”
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…”
Steve climbed the corporate ladder early in his career. Joining a Texas oil company right out of college, he worked his way up to senior VP before his forth-second birthday. Because of his overwhelming work load, he knew that he missed out on some things along the way, but he was an achiever who came from a family of achievers. He reasoned, “There will be plenty of time to enjoy life once I make it to the top.”
At age 51 Steve made it to the top. Now he could cut back on his hours, take some well earned vacations and spend time with friends. But Steve didn’t have any friends or family or anything of significance in his life.
One afternoon a strange feeling enveloped him. He came home early from the office and walked into a beautiful but empty house. The professional decorator’s personal touch could not bring warmth to his cold heart. He collapsed into a recliner, put away a few lite beers, and for the first time in his life sat in an empty room until dusk and pondered the purpose of his life. In that still moment of numbness Steve realized that he had climbed to the top of a ladder that was leaning against the wrong wall!
Steve is not alone. Scores of Americans invest the time, talents and treasure of their life in all the things that, in the end, are not really valuable at all. Our world is skilled at the art of deception, teaching us to believe that happiness, success and the “good life” can be found in status, career, money, possessions, beauty, affluence, travel…all the things that can not be protected or guaranteed.
Our society has betrayed us into valuing the valueless while ignoring what is truly priceless and important. America is filled with lonely, bored, dependent and deceived people who are grateful to grasp a small handful of happiness on the weekend. There are millions of people who frantically scramble to make a killing and in the end only succeed in killing themselves.
Paul knew different. He discovered God’s formula for success and happiness! Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi reveals the path that God chooses to bless. For example, the chronic complain of the average Christian is “I can’t.” The confident cry of the Christ-filled Christian is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (4:13).” It is obvious that Paul discovered answers to the difficult questions in life. In fact, he even found a peace that transcends all human thoughts and worldly worries. (4:7)
And, he discovered true passion in life. The assets of inheritance and achievement are real but compared to what Paul discovered in Christ alone, there is no comparison! The finest and best things in life were like losses compared to knowing Christ. When the sun rises, all other stars disappear. When a great man enters the room, lesser men fade into obscurity. When Christ comes into focus, all other assets look like liabilities.
Eugene Peterson in The Message translates Philippians 3:10 in this way: “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.”
“Paul, what is the secret to your life?”
“Christ. In Christ alone.”