But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Moving students from Religion to Relationship to Spiritually Reproducing... it's why NMC Student Ministries exists. Everything we do keeps this goal in mind. Moving past a stale, rules-driven, empty label of Christianity and into a relationship with the Almighty Creator of the Universe is at the core of my personal story.
There's plenty of things we can pursue with our lives. There's plenty of people to meet. There's plenty of knowledge to be gained. There's plenty of goals we can have. Yet, whenever I read Paul's words in this passage, something rises up inside of me and says, "YES! That's where I want to live."
Paul's words are chucked full of relationship language. I wish I could say I'm there all the time... where everything else is "rubbish" in comparison to knowing Christ, but I'm not. That's why I love the next three verses of this passage:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.