New Hope Notes
Re Use Me Lord
Pastor Jon Burgess
Well, New Hope, I hope you guys have been enjoying our gratitude adjustment series and our study in the book of Philippians. We are in Philippians Chapter 3. And as we open up here, you will notice that I am in an interesting location. This is called Re-use Hawaii, and it's where they take things that other people would consider trash and they turn them into treasure.
And you can see that that's exactly what Paul's getting at here as you open up your Bible to Philippians Chapter 3, and he starts out by saying this:
“Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by His Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…”
These Judaizers are attacking these fresh new Christians, and they're saying, “You don't measure up. You're not enough until you start doing the Jewish traditions, including circumcision.” Paul is saying, “Listen, you are a treasure just the way you are.”
Have you ever had that where someone looked at you and measured you up and down and said, “I'm sorry, you don't measure up”? Well, your father in heaven is standing here, just like we see here at Re-use, and He's saying, “What everyone else would consider trash, I'm telling you it's treasure. I'm just getting started.” And, in fact, God is rolling up his sleeves, and he's saying, “I'm just getting started.” Where everyone else has given up, God is just getting going with what it is that He sees He can do in and through your life.
You've had people telling you that your marriage is done, and God is saying, “Nope, it's not done. In fact, I'm going to do something new with your marriage. You've had people say that the relationship between you and your child is done,” and God is saying, “No, where they've called that trash, I'm calling it treasure.” Watch God at work.
So how are we able to look at all of this and see possibility instead of problems, where we are able to see treasure instead of trash? Well, it's the opposite of what you think.
In order to see trash as treasure, you and I actually have to turn our trash into treasure, and we have to refuse to treasure our trash. How do we do that?
1. Treasure To Trash: Deconstruction
Deconstruction was that idea where it's not demolition.
It's not destruction, but it's taking things apart on purpose with a design to build it back up according to God's purpose.
You see, the point that Paul was getting at with the Philippian church was that the Judaizers are trying to get them to put their confidence in their works and their value and their achievements.
Thus, Paul, in Phil. 3:4-8 says,
“…though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put 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; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…”
He's literally saying that in order for us to see those around us and our relationships and even ourselves as treasure the way God does, we need to trash the things that we've treasured other than Christ. Anything that we've treasured, our own accomplishments, our own reputation, our own skills, our own value, anything that we've found our identity in other than Christ is actually going to get in the way of what Christ wants to do in us and through us. Because, again, we started out in faith. We can't continue in the flesh.
And so if we can learn from what Paul is saying, you and I can actually look at all these things around us, our own relationships, our own possibilities, and see what we could actually become. We must learn to see our treasure as trash in order to treasure the trashed ones around us. Otherwise, we'll be finding ourselves fighting against the very one who transformed us in the first place.
2. Trash To Treasure: Reconstruction
That's where God begins to take our trash and turn it into treasure, just like with this dresser right here.
In Phil. 3:9-12 it says,
“…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 on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
This knowing is not a knowing like you get from books. This knowing is like you know the person sitting next to you. If they're your spouse, they're your brother, they're your sister, they're your son or your daughter, you know them relationally because you have spent time with them. Paul is saying, “I want to know Christ that way because while He is reconstructing me, while He is building me up, I don't care if things are hard, if I'm experiencing pain, or I'm experiencing joy. At least I get to be with the one who made me.
3. Treasuring The Trashed: Resurrection
When you and I are able to go through this process, we begin to treasure those who are trashed around us because we see life through the lens of the resurrections of Jesus Christ.
In Phil. 3:13-14, 17-21 Paul says,
“Brothers and sisters, 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…Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”
And as I was praying for this weekend's message, the Lord just put something on my heart as we close. I believe that there's some of us here that though you're a Christian, every time you look in the mirror, you still see yourself in the unfinished, unresurrected place. You see yourself through the lens of your past sins, and it's like a guilt and a shame that you cannot shake, that it runs around like a videotape in your head and you have no stop button or pause button; and that even when you hear messages like this where God is saying, “I've restored you, I've made you a new creation,” it only gets so far because that guilt and that shame comes up and says He's not talking about you because you know what you did.
I want you to know tonight that I am talking about you, that when Christ says that you are worth dying for, He's talking about you, that when Ephesians 2:10 says you are His masterpiece, He is talking about you. There are way too many Christians walking around believing in the father of lies instead of the father of light. There are way too many Christians walking around waking up in the morning with the same shame that they went to bed with the night before. There are way too many Christians who have bought into the lie that they are the same persons that they were on the trash heap before God's hands got a hold of them.
But I'm telling you, you don't have to live that way anymore. Let this weekend be your new beginning. Let this moment be when you recognize and finally see yourself the way He does as a new creation, as a resurrected son and daughter of the living God.