This passage from Paul is really inspiring. Frankly, I didn't notice that at first, but once I read it a few times, I finally got it. What makes it so great is Paul's background - of growing up a faithful Jew, of being educated in the finest schools with the finest teachers and being a faithful follower of the law of God.
And then He met Jesus - not in person when Jesus was alive, but after his resurrection, Paul met Jesus. From that point on, all of his history - his upbringing, his education, his very high status in society - didn't mean anything. He was absolutely willing to sacrifice everything for his faith and relationship with God. It really is unbelievable when you think about it. And, frankly I would find it really hard to do.
As we enter the season of Lent tomorrow, we enter a season of sacrifice. We acknowledge Jesus' sacrifice for us and we offer some sort of sacrifice to God in thanksgiving for all we've been given. As we go through the season of Lent, may we remember Paul's words that are so astounding "whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him."
May we make our sacrifices to God with Joy, relishing in the love that God has for us.