Philippians 3: 8
On Sunday evening the Prime Minister announced a tentative relaxation of the lock down; so we can now do more exercise and either walk or bike to work.
Wakefield Council have agreed to open three waste centres across the Borough and I have now been redeployed for up to the next six weeks to help manage the expected long queues as Wakefield District residents want to get rid of tonnes of rubbish and garden waste.
My normal job involves helping people by adapting their homes, from today my role is to prevent the roads around the various recycling sites being clogged up and fly tipping taking place. I’m sure everyday I will be surrounded by rubbish.
Whilst I was thinking about rubbish I was drawn to Philippians 3: 8 which says “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (New King James Version)
I work for the largest department in Wakefield Council – Adults, Health and Communities, but last Thursday at my traffic management training I found out that Waste Management controls and oversees the largest individual Council budget – so ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’ is very true.
In the New Living Translation, Philippians 3:1-11 has the sub heading – ‘The Priceless Gain of Knowing Christ’.
The book of Philippians has been described as Paul’s joy letter and is believed to be a personal letter from Paul to express his love and affection for the church found in this Macedonian city.
Philippians is also a joyful book because it emphasises the real joy of the Christian life – having the privilege and ability of knowing Jesus Christ personally and being able to depend on His strength rather than our own.
Paul’s personal desire to know more of Jesus Christ above everything else is wonderfully expressed in his own words recorded for the Philippian Christians and ourselves in Philippians 3:7-11, which says:
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”. (New King James Version)
Can I challenge us all this morning – the next time you put the rubbish out for the bin personnel to collect, remember that though we were once rubbish sinners, we now because of the glorious death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are heirs of the Father and members of the body and bride of Christ.
When you think of where we were and what Jesus has accomplished for us – everything else is rubbish compared to knowing His love, grace, peace and joy.
If you are lining up to tip your rubbish and see me in my bright yellow fluorescent jacket – give me a wave and obey the rules and remember that we are priceless in God’s eyes.