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Philippians 3:1-11, Breaking with the Past

Wednesday, May 9

Christ's Claim on Us

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.


In writing to the Philippians, a community of faith Paul helped begin, he reminded them once again that it is not enough to rest on their laurels -- there is work to be done, and none of their accomplishments or statuses count for anything in light of Christ' work. Even Paul's accomplishments and status -- his birthright as a Jew, his status as a Pharisee, his work as a legal persecutor of the church -- none of these make him any better than any other. If anything, his high status meant a greater fall in light of Christ's saving work for all humanity. It is Christ's claim on us that gives us status in the eyes of God -- nothing else counts.

We live in a world consumed with the touting of accomplishments and status. But no matter how hard we try, we will never live up to the expectations of a plastic world. What truly matters is not the lavish vacations, the lofty titles, the big houses. What matters is Christ's claim on us. We are no better and no worse than any other. If we can view ourselves and view our neighbors through Christ's eyes, what a different world this would be!

Narrative Lectionary Text: Philippians 3:1-11

Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard. Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh—even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.