9/24 Philippians 3:7

7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Providence had dealt Saul a bountiful hand. He grew up in a university town in an upper-middle-class home. He was mentored by one of the best Jewish teachers of the time. His personality and intellect made him one of the up-and-coming leaders. Many a young Jewish male would have loved to have been Saul. But when Jesus appeared to him while he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, he realized that all he had thought to be beneficial had led him to wrong conclusions. His heart's desire was to serve God, but he found he was fighting God's people.

To follow Jesus meant to cast his lot with rejects of the culture and give up all the benefits he thought were his. It is still the same in much of the world. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and others will reject their own child if he or she should turn to Christ Jesus. I have heard the agony in the voice of those who have had to face that rejection for the sake of Christ. That often means being cut out of the family will and the end of any support.

In another sense, it is true for us all. Things we might have considered to be beneficial for us personally, we surrender to Christ for His glory. Our time, money, education, and possessions are no longer ours. We forsake them all in our hearts so that we may use those things at the leading of the Holy Spirit for His cause (Luke 14:33).

Consider: Jesus taught His disciples that they must let go of everything to follow Him. Is it any different for us?