Author: Taylor EisingPosted on: January 1, 2020

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens

Garbage. Rubbish. Dung. Those words don’t usually come to mind when we think of studying God’s Word, living a holy life, or obeying God’s good law. It seems strange to label any of those good things as “worthless.” But that’s exactly what Paul says in today’s passage. You see, any of these wonderful actions can become evil if Jesus is not at the center of them. When we do good things to try to earn our salvation or favor with God, we are trying to do Jesus’ job for Him—and that never works. Jesus is the only One who can save us. He is the only One who lived a sinless life. He is the only One who took our sins upon Himself, dying on the cross. He is the only One who gives His righteousness (or sinlessness) to anyone who trusts in Him. And He is the only One who raised Himself from the grave, defeating death and ensuring the resurrection of His people so we can be with Him forever. If our actions aren’t centered around Jesus and what He did, no matter how good those actions seem, they are worthless. We’re sinners to the core, so good behavior can never make us whole and right before God; only Jesus can do that. But what if our actions are centered on Jesus? Well, that changes everything. Any non-sinful action can be done with Jesus at the center. When Paul talks about how worthless everything is apart from Christ, he isn’t saying, “The only important things are church and devotions, so we don’t have to care about work, our health, or relationships!” To the contrary: if we remove Christ from the way we approach work, health, or relationships, those things become garbage. But if we realize Jesus cares about every aspect of our lives and His work affects everything, we can live every part of our lives in light of who He is and what He has done for us. And that, my friends, is priceless. • Taylor Eising • We try to earn our salvation for one of two reasons: (1) we are so full of shame we try to make up for our sins or (2) we are so full of pride we think we aren’t that bad. Which side do you lean toward? (To learn more about knowing Jesus through faith, check out our “Know Jesus” page.) • How does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection affect every part of your day-to-day life? Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

Read Verses:

Philippians 3:1-11