Friday, May 22, 2009

REAL Confidence #4

Yesterday I went to the 8th Grade Awards Ceremony to watch my Jo graduate from middle school and be recognized for wonderful things she has done. She brought home some certificates and some shiny gold statues (She said, "Mom, aren't these just plastic?"). She'll add them to a box of treasures that she's collecting, but I hope they won't be a source of confusion for her.

I have a box of my own "treasures" from high school. Ribbons, trophies, a "letter", pictures, report cards. What's in your treasure box? When I look through mine, I see that I was trying to figure out, "Why do I matter?" In other words, "What's my purpose?" Experimenting, growing, learning.

When Paul was growing in his relationship with Christ, he had a treasure box. Strangely, he compared those things that he gathered to "dung."

"7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

8 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 but rubbish so that I may gain Christ..."
Treasures accumulated in life, things we accomplish to feel confident and worthy ... he calls rubbish. The real treasure? Christ. Gathering a FAKE PURPOSE for ourselves just leads to a WASTED LIFE.

God doesn't want our lives to be wasted on the wrong things. He has a great purpose for us, revealed in Psalm 71:5-8. Does this mean we don't try to succeed, to excel, to achieve? No. It means that we can be a "marvel/wonder/splendor" to many when GOD is our refuge, our reason for any glory. We are meant to bring praise to Him. We are His treasure box! Amazing. That's a REAL PURPOSE, and that leads to REAL LIFE!

Like the teens I shared with, I did a lot of striving. It's not wrong to do our best, but our "splendors" are meant to point to God. When I graduated, I was asked to give the prayer for my class of hundreds and their guests. When I was proclaiming Him, I could be truly confident. An opportunity to proclaim that we are meant to have ...
REAL PASSION with a joyful life, instead of FAKE PASSION & empty life
REAL PURITY with free life, instead of FAKE PURITY & a proud life
REAL PROTECTION with a safe life, instead of FAKE PROTECTION & vulnerable life
REAL PURPOSE with real life, instead of FAKE PURPOSE & wasted lif
The best lessons of life apply in every season. REAL CONFIDENCE = "glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh...whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ."

Are you experiencing REAL CONFIDENCE in your life?

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