Summary: Ridding our lives of rubbish to make room for spirittual priorities.



Candidate Tape

1/20/02 PM

As the lonely prisoner sat quietly, he paused for reflection as he added another sentence to the letter he was writing to his dear friends. He thought back on his childhood and remembered all the dreams he once had. In fact he had accomplished all that he hade set out to do with his life. He had gone to the finest schools and colleges. He had studied with scholars and great men. He had obtained a high status in his religious organization. He was blameless according to the law. He had obeyed even the silliest of laws out of piety. Of course, it also helped that he was of pure religious heritage. He was one of the few that could trace his roots all the way back to the patriarchs of his faith. With all the degrees he had obtained and all of the clout of his family name, he was just about perfect.

As he completed another sentence in his letter he paused again to reflect on that one fateful day that everything changed in his life. He was sitting blind in a strange house, in a strange town, not knowing what to do next. His entire world had been shattered. Everything that he had worked so hard for and all the status and power that he had once yielded meant absolutely nothing now. He had been stripped down of everything that was precious to him. All because his man made righteousness had collided head on with the purest righteousness of God.

Again he picks up his pen and writes these words:

Philip. 3:4-11 (best read out of the “Message” version)

though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: [5] circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; [6] as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

[7] But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. [8] What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ [9] 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 and is by faith. [10] I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, [11] and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

What is Rubbish?

1. Refuse; garbage

2. Worthless material

3. Foolish discourse; nonsense


When I was young we had purchases an older house. My Dad, who knew a little about everything, decided to remodel the house. So every Saturday my parents woke me up and stuck a hammer in my hand and we went to work. With hammer and crow bars my sister and I tour into the plaster walls. We tour the slats down and completely stripped everything off of the walls. For a ten year old boy I was in hog heaven. Just think, I had permission to destroy the house. It was great!!

Needless to say, we got the privilege of making weekly trips to the local land-fill to dump the plaster and slats. Other than the smell that place was neat. There was all sorts of neat little things people had thrown away. I kept wanting to fill the truck as fast as we were emptying it.

I realize that people make a lot of garbage. What was funny about the whole thing was, most of the things in the land fill were at one time given great regard in someone’s home. Just think, That new computer you purchased this weekend will some day find its rest in a land-fill, or furnace. Maybe not anytime in the near future we hope. But someday it will be resting among all the neat things in the land fill.

The same thing could be said about a number of things we regard highly. Our jobs, our homes, our cars, our friends, our status, our clothes, even sometimes our family members. In Short every thing that is temporal.

Paul’s Rubbish

1. Circumcised on the eighth day - Only a true Jew was circumcised on the eighth day.

2. Of the stock of Israel - Descended from the patriarch Jacob. His blood line was so pure he could trace it all the way back.

3. Of the tribe of Benjamin - The first king of Israel came from the tribe of Benjamin. This was the only tribe that did not revolt under Jeroboam.

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