You Must Lose Your Life to Find It

9.4.23 Devo Image

“But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”—Philippians 3:7–11 (NASB)

A pastor once told the story of two mothers who went to him for counsel regarding their wayward sons and broken marriages. He advised them each to surrender their sons to the Lord and to forgive their husbands. One woman heeded his counsel and worked on forgiving her husband. She found that the marriage improved, and her son’s behavior also changed. The other woman; however, could not forgive her husband, and their marriage ended. Consequently, her son’s behavior worsened. The difference between the wife who forgave and the wife who did not rested on where they turned to for true satisfaction. 

Paul teaches in today’s passage that a Christian’s greatest satisfaction and fulfillment are found in Jesus. He tells the Philippians he has renounced all earthly riches, for he knows there is something far more beautiful and satisfying worth his pursuit, and that is Christ. Paul understood the commensurate treasure he had found in Jesus—the pearl of great price—and how losing all earthly possessions in order to gain more of Him is what we were all made for. 

Yes, we were made to know Christ forever. Understanding this allows us to recognize the fleeting nature of worldly achievements and possessions. Paul says what we value is ultimately garbage and worthless in comparison to what we’ve obtained through faith in Jesus. Everything we could seek on earth—success, money, romance, accomplishments, possessions, power, fame—all of them are fleeting, empty on their promise to deliver on happiness in this life. True contentment can only be found in our relationship with Christ; in being fully known and loved by Him. 

In addition, we can also experience the transformative power of Christ in our lives. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can experience the justifying, forgiving, regenerative, and life-altering power of Christ in us! To be conformed to His resurrection means to make His power a reality in our daily lives. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us, transforming us from glory to glory into His image and likeness for the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18–21). The more we grasp through prayer and in quiet, the more we’ll see our lives transformed. 

Lastly, knowing Christ involves a deep identification with His sufferings. Think of Jesus on the cross; the pain he endured and His ultimate self-denial in obedience to the Father. Likewise, we’re called to fully surrender our will, to die to sin and our flesh, and to commit all we are to Jesus. As we follow Him, we partake in the fellowship of His sufferings, and just as Jesus did, we too can find a joy set before us to help us endure (Hebrews 12:1–2). When we seek to know Christ and His sufferings, we choose to fix our gaze on the eternal joy that awaits us in His presence. 

Friends, you and I were made to know and experience the love and power of Jesus! Settling for anything less than Christ our beloved will only leave us empty and broken, chasing after things that were never meant to bring us fulfillment. Paul’s charge to count all things as worse than worthless points us to where we can find true and eternal treasure: our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Pause: What do you fear losing more than anything in this life? Is that perhaps where you find joy and purpose in life? Is that an area where you find more purpose in than God?

Practice: Read today’s Scripture two to three times and ask the Spirit to bring to mind a word or phrase. Write it down and meditate on it throughout the day.

Pray: Jesus, Your love is better than life! You’re what my soul longs for. Even though I chase after other things for approval and happiness, You are the only One who can give me the soul satisfaction I desperately need. Help me to count all things as loss, so I can run fiercely after You! Amen. 

About the Author

Gabriella Bemis

Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.