Throwing Away the Precious Cargo

What have you accumulated in your life?  Belongings?  Skills?  Experiences?  All of the above?

If you’ve ever moved from one home to another, you know that there are some belongings that must be discarded, either to people who need it or into the garbage.  Other circumstances require throwing things away valuable cargo, too, as with a ship in danger.

In today’s scripture -- Philippians 3:4-11 -- Paul lists his “precious cargo,” that is, his "bragging rights" – upbringing, nationality, education, zeal, righteousness.  So why did he calculate everything as a “loss”?  (Or, more vividly, “excrement!”)

Well, let's be more specific -- Paul counts all of his bragging rights as garbage in comparison to something ... to knowing, experiencing, and sharing in the life of Christ.  (See the UPPC Focus Statement.)  

Part of what has been so challenging about this series, "Gold," is its exposure of the emptiness of a salvation paradigm offered by a secular humanist culture that dismisses any power or work of God.  In this self-centered paradigm, is there any way we can define ourselves outside of our "precious cargo," which includes the relatively positive impact we think we have had on the world?

What is your "precious cargo?"  Health?  Education?  Career?  Possessions?  Achievements?  Other?  How hard would it be to take all that we value most and metaphorically "throw it away" for the sake of living in Christ?  

Can we think of ourselves apart from our achievements?  Our possessions?  Who are we?  WHAT are we?

May you come to know who you are in the eyes of the One who made you.  In Grace and Peace!

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