Earthly gains and pleasures are not of worth. When I was younger, I thought that to grow up successful and rich would be a dream worth striving for. Well, it is not a bad thing too. It is good to aspire for such things. But if this kind of goal becomes the pivot point of everything else in your life, it really is not a worthy pursuit. I may not be old and wise as many old people are. But, the Lord taught me, that in this life, these things are not that valuable even if the world put riches and power in the pedestal. They are not worthy to be given first place in our life because they are not lasting. The Kingdom of God is the lasting inheritance of God’s people, so our thoughts and aspirations should always be connected to that. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” -Colossians 3:1-2. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 5:19-21.
Knowing Jesus Christ is the surpassing worth. Surpassing means “oustanding’ and “incomparable”. Nothing else can compare to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. Not riches can compare to it. Not the highest earthly position and titles can compare to it. Not the highest educational attainment can compare to it. Not any other achievements and earthly successes can compare to it. Apostle Paul knew this full well. So he said, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” -Ephesians 3:7-11. Everything else is a waste. Only knowing Jesus Christ matters. Now this does not mean that all else is of no value. But the context here is “where do we put our confidence?” Do we put primary focus on the earthly glory or do we put the Lord Jesus Christ as the priority? Is our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul had all the reasons to put confidence in his own flesh. He explained, “For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.” -Ephesians 3:3-6. Yet he said, “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Like Paul, we should realize this important truth. Anything else we gain apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is not gain at all. It is rubbish. But knowing Jesus Christ and putting our confidence in Him is the surpassing worth. King David said of knowing God’s law, “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” -Psalm 19:10. Even the leader of Israel, with all the wealth at his disposal, had considered and realized that knowing God and His laws is more valuable than having treasures of gold. In the end, it is not the gold nor the cash that can make us sleep peacefully at night, but the peace that comes from God. It is not the knowledge earned by high degrees that will give us sound decisions and right direction in life but ultimately it is the wisdom from God. It is not our mind and actions that ultimately have full control over our life and not even the very breathing we unconsciously take every day, but the very hand of God in our life! Finally, it is not what we have achieved and took material possessions on this earth that will determine our eternal destination, but Jesus Christ and His grace for us.