I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. . . . I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Phil. 3:8)

Tom looked around his grandmother’s house with fear and revulsion. Edith was a hoarder; she couldn’t part with the piles of newspapers in the living room, the many outdated cans in the kitchen, and the seven nonfunctioning TVs in the living room. Tom maneuvered down the hallway to tell her, “Grandma, I’ll come over any time to help you go through this stuff.” Edith replied, “You’re a good boy, Tom. Maybe we’ll get started on this next week.” Of course, she had said the same thing every week for six years.

In order to fully receive all God has for you, you must throw out the trash and make room for Him. This means more than throwing out sin; it also means throwing out any attempt at reaching God by your own efforts. The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to use his own life as an example of trading self-righteousness for the real thing. Paul had it all in terms of his background: he was a perfect Jew, a practicing Pharisee, and a spotless observer of the law. But when he met Christ, he realized that all of these meant nothing compared to the forgiveness and cleansing available through Him.

Is there anything in your life that you need to throw out to be experiencing Christ’s salvation? Is there anything or anyone you are trusting in, other than Him?

Take time to do a spiritual housecleaning.

Paul Zinter has served as a pastor and editor. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.