Summary: Here's a trashy sermon to illustrate how we allow worthless things in our lives to pile up.
Take Out The Trash
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
2Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
3For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
4though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
5circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
6concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
A woman once went away on a long weekend retreat
with a group of women from her church.
About halfway through the Monday morning session,
she suddenly got up and left the room.
Concerned, a friend followed her
to see what had caused her to leave the meeting so abruptly.
She found her friend
just as she was hanging up a telephone in the lobby.
"Is everything all right?" she asked urgently.
"Oh, yes," the woman responded.
"I didn't mean to cause you alarm.
I suddenly remembered that its Monday morning trash day."
The friend replied, "Trash day? Isn't your husband still at home?"
"Yes," the woman interrupted,
"but it takes two of us to put out the trash.
I can't carry it and he can't remember it."
Have you noticed the amount of trash that goes out of your house?
The average American makes about 3 pounds of garbage each day.
Point #1. We all have far too much trash in our lives.
Sometimes the personal garbage in our lives gets out of control.
There are many types of garbage!
There is the garbage of the destructive things that we do!
We read trashy books and magazines.
We watch trashy shows on TV.
We go to trashy movies.
We visit trashy websites on the Internet.
We use trashy language.
We tell trashy jokes.
Those are the visible types of garbage that we can all see.
However, there is another type of garbage.
It is the kind we can't see.
It is seen in attitudes!
In the early days of computers,
there was a phrase that was often heard:
"Garbage in; garbage out!"
It meant that if you put bad programming into the computer
you get bad results from the computer.
Well, when it comes to the human heart and mind,
that principle also holds true: "Garbage in; garbage out!"
Do you want to have a deeper relationship with Jesus in your life?
If you want a deeper relationship with Jesus
there may be some things in your life you need to get rid of.
The word "rubbish" that Paul uses here in Verse 8
is translated from the Greek word "Skubalon".
It refers to more than just paper things in your trashcan
that you take out and burn.
It literally means the excrement of animals.
That's pretty disgusting, isn't it?
So the question is: Are you willing to give up your rubbish,
for a deeper relationship with Jesus?
What could be the rubbish or skubalon in our lives?
Paul identifies his skubalon
as all the greatest accomplishments of his life.
Who he was, what he was,
and how he was before he knew Jesus.
He identified all the trappings of success --
money, fame, fortune, control, power, and position as rubbish.
We too often claim trash as treasure.
Anything that isn't eternal is skubalon, is rubbish.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-20
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.