The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

09/01/2009

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Counting Wisely


"I count everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Phil. 3:8).

Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis siete, ocho, nueve, diez....Do you remember when you learned to count? Do you remember when you learned to count to ten for the first time in another language? How wise we thought we were in our accomplishment....This morning I want to talk about a different type of "counting." Hopefully in these aspects of counting we will also feel more wise.

Today's verse is one in which the apostle Paul does some prioritizing. Uno is where uno ought to be. He says that he counts all other things behind (using a little hyperbole) the biggest and most important thing to him. Number one on his list is knowing that Jesus is a part of his life...That he "knows Christ." The wise counter puts everything behind gaining Christ. In Acts 20:24, the following words are written; "But I do not count my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, the ministry, that which I received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Our life would have no meaning if we did not finish the course...If we do not see it through and gain the reward for doing so. The wise counter puts the important things into the proper perspective.

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind and reaching for the things that are before me" (Phil. 3:13). Of all people, Paul could have gotten just a little bit complacent. After all, look at all of his accomplishments...But his counting was better than that. He knew that he had to see this Christian life that he had begun through to its conclusion. To do that he assumed that his work was not finished....""If you count me therefore as a partner, receive him as myself" (Philemon 17). Onesimus, the runaway, was now a Christian and therefore in Paul's eyes a "partner" of Philemon. As Christians we have the need lots of partners...Our fellow Christians have embarked on the same journey as we have. They are there to rejoice and weep with us. A wise counter would hold them close and dear.

Finally, "We count those blessed who have endured" (Jas. 5:11). Part of life are those challenges that confront us. If we fell into no hardships, life would just be one vanilla flavor. James says that the wise counter knows where his source of power is when troubles strike, and enduring just makes him more powerful and blessed. So there you have it. Lets all be wise counters...

Have a wonderful day...RAK someone today.....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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