Garbage to Glory

“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 which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in its death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11

There is something people seem to ask when we seem stuck. We feel like life has put us on a treadmill and the miles are feeling like feet. Where is the progress? This isn’t an easy question, but it’s ok. God can handle the hard questions. He is not intimidated by the fact that life can be confusing, hard, and hurtful. He knows that, because he lived it. Jesus lived among the brokenness and experienced pain in its purest form.

Did you know that on an average day an adult makes 35,000 remotely conscious decisions? 227 a day solely on food. Normally, I wouldn’t think much about this fact until I truly began to think about what this meant for our minds. This means that 35,000 times a day you are feeling the consequences of your decisions, either good or bad.  Some of us love being the decision-makers and some hate it, while others don’t mind either way. Whether you realize it or not, the decisions you make impact you and the people around you.

In life, there are a handful of extremely important decisions. Ones like who you are going to marry, if and where you will be attending college, or making a decision to follow Jesus. Nobody would decide to wake up one morning and marry the first person they see on the street. Big decisions take time to weigh and to discern what is a good or a bad decision.

Yet, we can take years to find a soulmate, but decide in an instant to cheat on them. We can take months to decide what college we want to attend, but in a moment decide to sleep in and slack off. We can take weeks deciding if we want to commit our lives to Jesus, but in a moment ask “Where is the progress?

Let’s go a couple verses lower from our main text:

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” 3:14

Today, just as any day, you experience a pull towards the garbage of this world. The things that have no meaning. For me, I can find myself getting stuck down a rabbit hole of youtube videos for easily 30 minutes. For you, it may be playing a game on your phone, allowing your identity to be determined by the likes you receive on social media, or letting a sin in your life rob you from the community God offers through his church. I’ve noticed that when I choose garbage, it has a nasty impact on me. I begin to feel like garbage. 

Here is the good news: You may feel like garbage, but God does not see you as garbage. You are a child of God. A prized possession that was bought at the highest price. Jesus’ blood declares that you are not garbage. Therefore, PRESS ON towards the goal that we have not taken hold of yet. Live a life deciding to redeem garbage to glory with every decision you make. PRESS ON towards heaven with eyes on the prize. Let me leave you with verse 13 in chapter 3:

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”

Grace and peace.

Nick Settles Initials

SOURCES: Dr. Joel Hoomans

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