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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Profit or Loss?"

January 31, 2004

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Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7

How we guard and cultivate our assets in life – degrees, promotions earned, civic honors, financial balance sheet, club memberships! While wanting to appear humble, we secretly savor our accomplishments and expect to profit from our assets, perhaps even in God’s heavenly ledger.

Paul understood our drive for profit. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, a persecutor of the church, and a faultless observer of legal principles. He honestly sought to please God by his actions – until he found himself in the dust of the Damascus road, at odds with Jesus Christ, whom he persecuted. Blinded, alone, convicted of his many sins before God and men, Saul of Tarsus is baptized and comes to know Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior.

Now Paul sees all his own righteousness, however humanly impressive, as mere rubbish. He gladly lays it aside for the priceless righteousness that comes from God and is by faith in Christ. He now lives with reckless abandon for Christ, his only profit.

A painful review of our assets is in order. Before God we are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Selfish, rebellious manipulative, we find ourselves with mere rubbish before God and others. But Christ’s righteousness, demonstrated by His sinless life and sacrificial death, stands for us as profit before the Father. Trusting in Christ alone for salvation, we live unburdened, using our assets by His grace to proclaim Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. What gain when we count our profit as loss and His sacrificial loss as our profit!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to count all as loss for Your sake. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 33-35    Matthew 20:17-34

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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