When I first considered the thought of what really matters, it seemed pretty obvious to me. What really matters in this life is finding Jesus, being saved.
But Paul wasn’t writing to unbelievers when he wrote, “I want you to understand what really matters” (Philippians 1:10NLT). In fact, he was writing to the Philippian church. The Philippians were his most mature, most Christ-like congregation. Yet he wanted them to understand what really matters. This tells me there’s more to what matters than simply being saved. Like Paul, we must continue or press on toward an even greater goal.
In Philippians 3:14, above, Paul defines this goal as winning the prize for which God has called us. What is this prize? Heaven? Heaven is our final destination. That’s true. But as we study the book of Philippians, we find Paul writing about something more over and over again. Look back at the list I gave you on December 31 taken from Philippians 4:4-7:
1. Rejoice in the Lord always.
2. Serve others considerately.
3. Anticipate Christ's return.
4. Don't worry about anything.
5. Pray about everything.
6. Trust God to meet all needs.
7. Thank Him for all He does.
8. Experience His peace.
9. Live in Christ Jesus--always!
Then look at Philippians 3:8 and 10-11:
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ . . . I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”What really matters begins with salvation, but that’s only the first step. As we continue on, our goal is to know Christ and to let His Spirit make us more like Him. Christ-like character takes a lifetime to discover, understand, achieve (or have achieved in us—it's the Spirit's work with our cooperation—a team effort, indeed).
Father, as we press on toward the goal, help us understand what really matters—
- for eternity.
- for life.
- for this year.
- for each moment of each day.