I am finding the days and weeks are flying by. It is hard to believe that it is April. This month I have several commitments, so the calendar is full and I anticipate another month will soon be over. It is exciting to receive the news that the text of my book has been uploaded to being the printing process. It will also be available online. The online version may be ready in the week or two. I have my weekly workout with my fitness trainer, so I continue to push my rehab workouts. Besides my devotionals, I write an occasional blog about energy issues. You can find the latest at www.LarimerLEAP.com
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.“ Philippians 3:7-8,10-11 HCSB
David Irwin was a missionary to Africa and the founder of the Assemblies of God Center for Muslim Ministry. David’s career included being a pastor/counselor and earning several academic degrees. He had completed his dissertation for Doctor’s Degree in missiology and was looking forward to many years of fruitful and impactful ministry. As he drove home from church on a Sunday morning with his wife and young grandchildren in the car, a teen driver ran a stop sign broad sided the car and a high profile missions leader was killed.
His son Paul and his wife were on a missions trip to Africa and Egypt and made their way home as quickly as they heard the news. They were processing the death of a father, concerned about Paul’s mother and their children who were in the car. As the days approach to prepare for a funeral service, Paul was going through some of his father’s files. There was a file labeled, “Dung.” When Paul opened the file he found copies of all his father’s degrees, recognitions and awards from his years of ministry .
David Irwin, knew what the Apostle Paul knew. True life is not found in achieving status in the eyes of man. It is not in status and all that makes us feel worthy and secure, it is found in knowing Christ and experiencing the “Christ-life.”
It is nice to be honored and treated with respect. As a young high school teacher, I took note when staff members called me, “Mr. Summers.” Even after my legislative years, it is still nice to be referred to as, “Representative Summers.” It is not something that I demanded or even anticipated, but when it happened, it made me realize how easy it is to get caught up by being honored in the eyes of people.
Paul was a “Pharisee of the Pharisees” – he had education and status and authority that many would covet; yet he said “just call me a ‘servant’.” He knew all that was B.C., “before Christ,” didn’t matter. What mattered now was knowing Christ and continuing to know Him.
Jesus told the parable about the “hidden treasure” and “pearl of great price.” (Matthew 13:44,45) It is about those who sold all they had, “gave their all” to secure a treasured possession. In a day when many view relationship with Christ as optional, a “take or leave it” proposition or something that interferes with what is really important, God’s Word challenges us about our priorities and value system.
Martyred Missionary Jim Elliott said, “He is not fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he can not lose.” Over the years I have heard individuals testify about what they “gave up” to commit their life to Christ. Paul would tell them, “it isn’t a sacrifice, it is “dung.” All we value and esteem, will one day fade but, “he who does the will of the Father lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
Nobody has given up more than Jesus. He left His throne in heaven to enter the womb of a teenage girl. He lived an obscure life for 30 years and then taught and performed miracles for three years, before suffering a humiliating, painful death on the cross.
No wonder Paul admonished the Romans, “I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1 TLB) We can’t go wrong, when we give all to the One who gave His all for us.