Read: Philippians 3:1b–10

More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8

It is a revelation that hopefully grips every Christian at one time or another in his or her life of faith: nothing is more important than our relationship with Jesus. This realization can come from the trials of life and the deep longing for something better. Or, having accomplished your dreams and achieved the goals you have set for yourself, you come to recognize that you still have a gnawing emptiness in your soul.

Paul had been a zealous, faithful, and successful Jew, meeting every expectation of the law. He had also been a frequent prisoner and a constant target of persecution for sharing his newfound faith in Jesus. Paul knew success and failure, he experienced acceptance and rejection, and at different times he had lived a life of ease and a life of hardship. Through his experiences Paul’s belief was confirmed: life lived with Jesus and living life according to the example of Jesus were what mattered most. No pursuit was more fulfilling than being in daily relationship with the Lord. For Paul, nothing else mattered.

What matters most to you?

Dear Lord, in moments of hardship and in moments when all appears well in my life, I am aware of a sense that my life is not complete. Oddly, the experiences of both challenge and accomplishment make me aware that something is missing within me . . . something that seems as if it should be absolutely central to my existence. You. You are what I am missing. Your guidance, Your presence, and Your life intertwined with mine is what I crave. Help me to focus on our relationship so that I can keep in touch with what matters most: You, and Your call on my life. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.