What is this surpassing greatness? Who is the greatest of the greatest? There’s only one answer for me, “Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3: 8)
Paul said it this way, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3: 7-9)
- Consider His surpassing greatness.
Paul not only knew God from knowledge of facts but a knowledge that was gained through experience.
- Never dismiss one’s testimony of their experiences with God.
Paul met, and experienced Jesus on the road to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him and asked Paul, (then named Saul), “Why are you persecuting Me?” He was a hater of Christians, then was converted and called into the service of the Lord.
Paul desired to be “Found in Him.” He delighted in knowing him not only by his experience but by a present and continuing relationship with Jesus.
- Every experience should lead us closer and closer to Him, into an ongoing more intimate relationship with Jesus.
Paul realizes that his former way of life was worthless. That’s why he calls it rubbish.
- To the depth we welcome Him, is to the depth we receive Him.
- Paul’s conversion was dramatic, how could he not welcome and receive Him.
Welcome all of who Jesus is, in His fullness. He shall reveal Himself to you. Our salvation experience is just the beginning; God has so much more to reveal.
There are times folks will not consider knowing Jesus unless they have an encounter with Him. Paul confesses he was a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, zealous for persecuting all Christians, all for the sake of legalistic righteousness.
Paul’s confidence was rooted in his Jewish privileges and in what he attained until he met Jesus. Now he confesses this desire, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”(Philippians 3: 10-11)
- Whatever we attain and contain in this life, doesn’t compare to what we gain and attain by knowing Jesus.
How does one get there to great faith? “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3: 12)
Even in his experiences with Jesus Paul says, “I’ve not yet reached the perfection. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13-14)
Press on, church! Don’t look at what was, look at what is yet to come!
(Shared from Philippians 3, Modified)
Consider The Consequences Of Turning Away
Ezekiel tells of two sisters and their defilement and prostitution against the Lord. They are told, “Since you have forgotten Me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.” (Ezekiel 23: 35)
- Idolatry is adultery.
These defiled women even sacrificed their own children. They defiled the temple by using incense and oils for personal use. But God said, “You will suffer consequences of your sins of idolatry.” (Ezekiel 23: 49)
Consider His Justice
He has spoken, “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nations; the Law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.” (Isaiah 51: 4)
Consider His Salvation
“My salvation will never fail. Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.” (Isaiah 51: 6-7)
Consider His Protection
“I have put my words in your mouth, and covered you with the shadow of my hand–I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, you are my people.” (Isaiah 51: 16)
- Consider all that He has done and will still do.
- He is a considerate, faithful, great, great God!
Can you tell that I’m completely grateful? Knowing the Lord is my life. Without Him, I wouldn’t survive. It is His hand that upholds us when we fall. It is His love that comforts us when we need to be loved. It is His faithfulness that never ends. His mercies are truly new each and every morning!
(Shared from Isaiah 51, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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