What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Philippians 3:8-9 NIV
I believe we all reach a point in our walk with Christ where we see the meaningless value of things we once held dear: the pursuit of wealth & material gain, (self-perceived) position & power, sex, etc. As we transition from a carnal to a spiritual value set, we can know the peace of Christ that passes all understanding.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17 NIV
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV
My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. -James 1:2-5 NET
We all eventually fall on hard times or difficulties. There’s no immunity for followers of Christ. Being His slave means suffering along with Him. Of course, our difficulties don’t compare with what He endured for us. Be smart. Keep your eyes on Jesus!
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. –Matthew 5:4 NET
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. –James 1:2-3 NIV
James 1:2 NIV
We must always remember that we are not immune to trials. They come in many forms, and they can always be used to glorify God.
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? -Matthew 6:25-27 HCSB
I used to worry, worry, worry all the time! What a sense of freedom and peace I have today from Jesus! When my mind goes there now, I am quickly reminded that worry is a sin and completely self-destructive mentally, emotionally and [most importantly] is an impediment to my walk with the LORD.
For who in the heaven Can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty Can be likened unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Psalm 89:6-8 KJV
In all the many false religions of this world, who compares to Him?
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 1 Peter 2:11 KJV
Keeping in mind that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world, our thoughts should be captive to Christ. In striving for such a continual relationship with Him, we may avoid the self-destructive path that the lusts of the flesh would take us down. Amen?
I am a stranger in the earth: Hide not thy commandments from me.
Psalm 119:19 KJV
Often the topic of Bible translations arises, especially in online communities of faith. Like most brothers and sisters, I have an opinion on the subject!
I think (first and foremost) that the more literal translations are essential for any Bible student. While all translations can be called “commentaries on the original manuscripts,” the less license allowed, the better. That said, my favorites of the more literal translations include the KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV and (for in-depth consideration) the Amplified Bible.
Please know that I am not opposed to the more dynamic translations such as the NIV or NLT. They certainly have their place on the shelves. But I think they should be used after a more literal translation us read.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:4-10 KJV
Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time. -Amos 5:13 NKJV
Sometimes we as Christians are required to accept what is happening around us as the way it is — once we have given it prayerful consideration, examined scripture and taken any action that it may indicate. There are times when keeping silent while the LORD works His will is what He demands of us.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 ESV