8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death… (Phil 3:8-10 kjv)

How many of us can say we count everything a loss except knowing Christ? That’s a pretty strong statement. Everything else we know or love, everything we hang on to or value, everything else we yearn for or desire — they all should fade away when compared to Christ, but they don’t always. I know that there are times where I have valued other things, perishable things, things merely meant for this world, over the eternal, glorious, all-loving Son of God, my Savior. That’s foolish, because none of those things we value so highly will endure past the Last Day, and most of them get ruined long before then.We should reflect and repent when we see how off-kilter our priorities can become, living in this materialistic, godless place we call the world. We can imbibe their philosophy and priorities to an alarming degree.

Instead, we thank God that we have been given the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. Even though we don’t always pay attention to it or value it like we should, God still permits us to know Him through His Son, and to have faith in His Son for eternal life. We do have the knowledge that makes us wise for salvation. God still permits us to have the means that build up our faith and draw us closer to Him. He has revealed His Son to us, and though we are like iron mixed with clay, He has promised that we will be refined like gold in the furnace, like silver purified seven times. God counts us as His treasures already — we are already accounted right, perfect, and holy before God through the merits and sacrifice of Christ our Lord while in the days of His flesh — but while we are here on earth, we still have to endure the fire. We have to struggle to beat down our old man. This comes through the power of Christ’s resurrection washed over us in baptism, which drowns the old man and breaks his stranglehold on our life and behavior. We walk in newness of life.

I am glad to have righteousness that is not my own. My own is spotty, full of gaps, “when I get around to it”s — all good intentions and wishful thinking many times. Through Christ I have a righteousness that is sturdy, unbreakable, eternal, and as pure and true as the Son of God Himself. I can walk tall, because I am justified by grace. My righteousness comes from God and I don’t have to worry that there will be any holes, any gaps, anything missing that should be there. Everything is as it should be. My faith truly is a shield that covers over all my vulnerability, my deficiencies, my weaknesses, and delivers  me from my enemies. I sing in the morning of your unfailing love, for You are my Deliverer and my Refuge.