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|Faithful to Christ||OCTOBER 4|
THE GAIN AND LOSS OF KNOWING CHRIST
I count everything sheer loss, because all is far outweighed by the gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I did in fact lose everything. Phil. 3:8, 9, N.E.B.
Wealth, power, pleasure, popularity, fame, all can be legitimate desires. They are not necessarily wrong in themselves. The missiles that take men to the moon are filled with the most perfect and expensive machinery and equipment that men can create. But once superior equipment is invented, or a more excellent missile, then the old one must be scrapped. So with battleships and aircraft carriers.
These days so much depends upon our willingness to sacrifice excellence for those things that are even more excellent and efficient. The astronomer readily renounces his telescope lens for one more powerful. The art lover will give up all his second-rate pictures or paintings to acquire a masterpiece of Michelangelo or a Raphael. We all sacrifice the mediocre for the best.
Once we see the beauty and perfection of Christ, we must he willing to sacrifice every low standard, every questionable pleasure, friendship, and interest, if it means that to hold on to these denies Christ to us.
As far as the world as God made it is concerned, it cannot defile us. Except where man has been, it is a beautiful world and full of loveliness. Its fields are carpeted with flowers, its mountains are bathed in snow, its hills bright with green forests, its air loaded with the perfumes of flowers. The world of nature is full of God's handiwork. It was not the world in this sense that our Lord spoke of when He called Satan the prince of this world. The natural world to a great degree still shows evidence of Christ's power, not Satan's.
The Russian cosmonaut Nikolayev said he had not discovered God in the stratosphere. The American astronaut Gordon Cooper stated that he had seen many of the wonders that God created, that he had his heavenly Father with him when he was 150 miles above the earth as he did every day when he was on earth. Then Cooper added, "As for me, it is a tremendous assurance and strength to know that no matter where I are, I am in God's hands."
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