God's word in today's world

The rest is simply noise


Philippians 3:4-11

I hope you have a blessed and fun filled 2017!

We are still busy with Paul’s letters and he offers us a glimpse of his life BC (before Christ). Indeed a shining example for others to follow. If there had been a competition in Paul’s church for the best example of a most holy person, Paul would surely have won it year after year.

Just look at Paul’s life:

4You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law …

Not too shabby, we all think. But it didn’t end here. Paul took his faith so seriously that he was even prepared to murder:

6 a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.

But then Paul’s eyes were opened and he saw the light. He met the Wholly Other and his life made a 180 degrees turnabout:

7 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life.

All that had been important to Paul before, keeping all the laws and whatever else, were suddenly so unimportant. Why? Because he has met Jesus. When you enter Jesus’ world, everything changes.

I was sitting next to the lagoon early in the morning. The fish jumping out of the water one by one. I tried to understand what this verse meant to me and it hit me like a sledgehammer! It gave me such a fright when I looked at the picture of my life: The number of people on the Kruispad distribution list was not the point. The number of prayer requests we dealt with each day was not the point. It didn’t matter how many people received our pastoral care. Even less did it matter how often I go to church or how much I do for others. Everything, yes, everything is about Jesus alone.

So easily earthly things, even a ministry or church, takes your mind away from your relationship with Jesus. The most important event in your life is your relationship with Jesus. The rest is noise, as a friend of mine always says.

Once again I realised how many other things in my life are more important than my relationship with Jesus. That is exactly what the devil does. He drives us to do more for the Lord. To spend more time doing things for others. And in the process we’re tempted away from an intimate relationship with Jesus.

And once again I fell into the hole. And I’m caught in the trap.

Let’s grab this challenge with both hands. Let’s consciously get rid of the noise and put all our energy into a powerful, intimate relationship with Jesus.

Come on!

Reflection

What noise takes you away from spending time with Jesus?

How can you get rid of the noise?

What is more important to you than your relationship with Jesus?

Prayer

Our Father in heaven, I realise my life has too much noise. There are so many other things making demands on my time. With everything in me I long for an intimate relationship with You. Please help me to put You at the centre of my life again. Amen

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