“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. 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” (Philippians 3:5-8).
A few years ago, while doing a spiritual inventory of my life, I came to a decision about what I wanted to do with my life and what part I wanted the Lord to play. It all came down to a single decision that I still think about today. I want Jesus Christ to be the supreme affection of my life.
Supreme affection. Some people might think that that is a strange phrase. Yet, I choose it because it goes beyond my desire to make Jesus the center of my mind and my will. I want my affections, my emotional center, to go along with it. Jesus is my supreme affection.
The apostle Paul had a similar phrase he used to help people understand the importance of Jesus Christ in his life. He called it, “The surpassing worth.” When Paul took a spiritual inventory of his life, when he considered all of the benefits his culture, heritage, and faith gave him, he chucked it all behind him for one thing: the surpassing value of knowing Jesus. In essence, he made Jesus Christ the supreme affection of his life. And he wrote about it, not to show off how spiritual he was, but so that his readers might make the same decision. He wanted them to do the very same thing. Then he went further. “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). For Paul, the benefits and sufferings of Christ were better to him than everything his heritage and efforts had to offer him. And so it is for us. Why? Because Jesus Christ has made you the chief affection of his life. “Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12).
What is the chief affection of your life?
“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
Take a spiritual inventory of your life. What do you spend the most time thinking about? What kind of emotions are stirred in your heart when you think of Jesus? Are they strong? Consider telling God that you want him to be your chief affection, and ask him to change your life accordingly.