Scripture: Philippians 3:7-11
Key Verse: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8a)
“Is this all there is?” asked Jessica.
The youth pastor did not quite understand. “Well… yes. You are where you hoped to be: a teacher,” he responded.
“I mean, is this all I’ve worked for?” Jessica had graduated high school with honors despite a difficult family life and a struggle with depression. She had worked her way through a prestigious university education and earned many academic awards. Now she was three months into her first job as a high school history teacher and was struggling with her purpose. “Is this all there is?”
“Your goals are changing now,” he told her. “You no longer have clear short-term goals like test scores and grades to aim for, and success is harder to measure now than a GPA. Now your work involves impacting many young lives, but, what is more important is that you find your true identity in your faith in Jesus, because he will never change.”
In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul describes the true core (central identity) of every believer: Jesus Christ. As Jessica was realizing, accomplishments and awards fall way short of knowing the greatness of Jesus. The more she pursued her relationship with Jesus the less her accomplishments defined her. you will discover that pursuing your life with Christ as your focus will fill you with more joy and sense of purpose than you ever imagined! As his followers, our core purpose remains to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and having our life reflect that in whatever we do.
What activities or events define the core of your life? If asked, would your friends name your faith in Jesus as part of your core?
Write a list of at least five hobbies, interests, or goals—things that you do regularly. Now list how much time you spend doing these things each day, each week. Add them up for a weekly total. Now circle which one represents your core purpose. Do the core purpose and time spent match up? Where does your walk with Jesus rank? Write down a commitment to the Lord about your core focus.
Now choose three new activities or goals you want to do this week that will further your faith—like doing the 40-day challenges, writing an encouraging note to a family member, spending time teaching a teammate who is struggling, or singing a song in public to make everyone smile.
Lord god, help my core focus to be on you and not on the abilities and talents you have given to me. Trophies and applause will pass away but your love remains forever and ever. Amen.