The apostle Paul stated, “but one thing I do...” (Phlp. 3:13). In this chapter, Paul talked about himself. He listed something of his heritage in vs. 4-6. He noted that, from a purely physical perspective, he had excellent credentials. He could trace his bloodline back to the tribe of Benjamin, and that bloodline was pure, his being a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents. As far as his spiritual credentials were concerned, as they appeared on the surface, his were most impressive. He was a Pharisee, meticulous in keeping the law of Moses and zealous enough in his dedication to that law as to be an aggressive persecutor of the church.
Just how much do we need God? Most people, even the most dedicated, probably do not really think much on a daily basis about how much they truly need God. If asked the question, most of us would quickly affirm that we need God every step of the way, every day, but probably do not live like it. We get caught up in all the busy-ness of daily living. Well, do we really need God?
Jesus taught us, as His disciples, to love one another (Jn. 13:34-35). His instruction in that context is not a suggestion. He stated it as a commandment. The purpose behind this commandment is extremely important. The world will recognize Christ in us by the love that we exhibit toward one another. But the reasons that should motivate our love for one another go way beyond just following a commandment that tells us to love one another.
The story goes that the devil decided to retire (now, wouldn’t that be great news!), and he had a “Going Out Of Business Sale.” All of the tools of his trade were openly displayed and priced on row after row of tables. One tool, however, was set off to itself under a glass case. It was more worn than most of the other tools, and it was considerably more expensive. A small labeling card was set in front of it with one word printed thereon- DISCOURAGEMENT
Gary L. Hutchens