Faithlife Sermons

Everything As Loss

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Do you ever just want to get away from everything?

What are you retreating from?

Pressures of school
Chaos of life
Your parents or extended family during the holiday season?
To retreat is often a sign of defeat, or at least that’s how we think of it. We are heading away from something and seeking somewhere where we can find refuge or relief or belonging.
And so, whatever reason you are here this weekend, I want you to know that it is completely normal to long for a retreat from the pressures of life, from the daily struggles.
But I also want you to know, and I hope you are ready for this, but we aren’t just here this weekend to leave those things behind, but we are here this weekend to run hard towards God. To find our refuge, to find our relief, in Him.
(yes that’s a book of the Bible) says this, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him.”
God is good
He’s a refuge in times of trouble
He knows those who take and actively seek refuge in Him
And so that’s what we’re gonna do.
And I hope this weekend you will decide on a few things in your current life:
Treasure Christ
Gain Christ
Know Christ
Pursue Christ

We are going to spend most of our time in Philippians this weekend, honing in on verses 7-10
Read the text
The Pressures to Gain
Have you guys ever felt, or maybe you currently are feeling, the pressures in life to “gain”.....we just talked about some of them. Right? Like this tension that you’re on the right path, or you think you are, or you’re not sure, but you’re on it none the less because why?
And maybe you realize this, or maybe you don’t, but the world around us, culture around us, has placed these pressures upon us that we all face:
First you graduate high school, which you all have done
But then you need to go to college and major in something good
So that you can get a good job
Oh and by the way, you need to have a job at the same time too
So that you can have a car and afford gas to move the car
All the while trying to find mr. or mrs. right
So that when you graduate you can get an ever better paying job
So you can afford to get married with the view
To buying that perfect little house
Where you can have kids and live the perfect American dream out
And eventually, one day, retire and sip lemonade on the front porch while you watch your grandkids play in the yard.
And by the way, at one point in my life, I had 8 of these in play at the same time
I was 20, married, working a 50 hour a week job, going to college, paying for car and insurance and food and rent and bills, with a pregnant wife who was also in college.
I decided the basic pressures weren’t enough for me, so I added them all together!!!!
See, you all are facing enormous pressures on a daily basis, and I do too. We all face these pressures daily.
And it sucks, doesn’t it?
Because these pressures to “gain” can cause a couple of responses inside of us:
We either:
Live our lives in this daily never-ending struggle to achieve
And it’s just going to translate from college, to work, to future families.
Live our lives, “trying” to fit, but ultimately purposeless, because we feel everything is unachievable so we just coast
Or buck the cultural pressures and chase after something else
Or we just give up
We all tend to reside in one of these four areas
Paul understood the pressures to “gain”
If you read the few verses before 7-10, he almost lists them off much like I just did a couple minutes ago:
He had achieved the cultural checklist, he’d been able to check the box on almost everything on the cultural list of the day:
Read verses 5-6
Now, we read this and we’re like…big deal
But it was a big deal. This is what young men strived for in this day.
Paul was at the top, he’d gained what so many sought.
And some of you today may be on your way there yourselves
And I want to stress, that in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s good to be focused on a degree
It’s good to be looking for a job
It’s good to be pursuing marriage with someone
It’s good to have goals in life, don’t hear me wrong there
But notice with me what Paul says in :
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.”
Paul says that whatever gain he had, and I think we can read into it whatever gain he was focused on, he counted as loss.
Now this is interesting to me, and should be to you all as well.
Here we have Paul, a man who had achieved and was well on his way to achieving the “Jerusalem dream”, saying that he counted it all as loss. Perplexing isn’t it?
What we see Paul doing is de-valuing everything he had focused on, everything he had already achieved, and everything he hoped to achieve.
Earlier in the passage he even says he no longer put any confidence in the flesh, in the things he had achieved.
Basically, he counted everything as loss.
Everything took a backseat
Now remember we talked about retreat earlier, and how it’s heading away from something, but also heading for something or someplace
Paul says here, whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for what?
For the sake of Christ!!!! Paul “retreated” if you will from the “gain” and went to Christ
Here’s what I want you to see this morning.
When Paul found Christ (or more like when Christ found Paul) on the road to Damascus, everything changed from that point forward for Paul.
Christ became his treasure
And everything else lost its value
And it was instantaneous. When he came to treasure Christ, it was immediate!
This makes sense though, because naturally, when we value something as supreme, everything else loses it’s shine, loses it’s luster doesn’t it
I used to have a pretty big shoe problem
Cleaned daily, walked carefully, etc.....
Until…I got a new pair
See, Paul’s mindset had changed. It had gone from everything he thought he needed to do to Christ.
The same thing has to happen for us. If we say we truly treasure Christ, then there should be a shift in our mentality, and in our hearts.
No longer are we set on the things of this world, but on Christ
No longer are we pressured to achieve what society tells us we need to achieve
No longer are we trying to fit into this mold.
When we come to Christ, when we come to treasure Him, there should be a change
And here’s the second thing, it’s an instantaneous change
When you treasure something, you don’t really take a super long time to come to that realization do you? You treasure what your heart is focused on
Like the man in Matthew who found a treasure buried in a field. He immediately went and sold what we had and bought that land
That’s how we should be with Christ.
Is that how you are with Christ?
Have you realized who Christ is and do you treasure Him above all?
Now, don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t easy. If you are sitting here today saying you treasure Christ, that He is your will still live in this tension between Christ and the world.
This tension will hang around because of who we are.
See, if Christ is your treasure, you’ll want to pursue that, and talk about that, and learn about that, and all these things.
All the while, your old self will want you to pursue yourself, talk about yourself, learn about you, etc.
This tension is real
But the evidences should be in your life this:
Christ is the supreme authority, the supreme focus, and the supreme longing.
Everything else should be taking a back seat.
Is it?
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