Knowing Christ

August 27, 2017                                  

Philippians 3:10

 How well do you know people? Many of our relationships are known as surface relationships. I was talking with one of our members this past week and discovered things about his life I did not know. He played basketball at Southern Illinois University. Lived in California and at one time owned a NASCAR racing car. It amazed me as I listened to his life story. God desires for us His children to know Him in a much more intimate way than most of us do. Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10) Paul was basically saying I want to be like Jesus.

 1                    Knowledge

 God wants you to know the depths of who He is. He wants you to truly grasp His majesty, holiness, power, love, grace, and joy. Because when you begin to comprehend these mighty truths about His character, you are enriched, enabled, and energized. The Word says, “However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10) We have received the Spirit from God that we may know and understand the deeper things of God. We should continually strive to understand the things that God has freely given us. 

What has God taught you or revealed to you lately?

Are you amazed when God reveals Himself to you?

Do you want to know Christ and the power that raised Him from the dead?

 2                    Experience

 Despite being stoned, beaten, shipwrecked, slandered, rejected, and imprisoned, Paul wrote that his ultimate aim in life was to know Christ. And he surely did through all of his experiences. This knowledge carried, encouraged, and strengthened him to the very end. And Paul was able to proclaim, “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:17-28) Paul learned more and more about Jesus through the experiences and challenges of life.

 Do you acknowledge God through your personal experiences in life?

How has God encouraged you and carried you through your experiences?

 3                    Overcoming

 When you face a mountain in your life, you have a choice: be overwhelmed or be energized because you know the Savior will reveal Himself in a profound way to you. Of course, your first thought may be, if I were really in God’s will, I wouldn’t be facing obstacles, especially this enormous. But that is not so. You have an enemy who will oppose you whenever he sees the Lord doing anything great through you. You can be in the center of God’s plan, doing exactly as he says, and encounter a mountain of opposition. But don’t focus on the mountain. Look at the Almighty God who loves you and provides for you. He can handle the troubles before you with ease. Jesus said if we have faith we can say to a mountain go through yourself into the sea and it will be done. (Matthew 21:21) And if you respond correctly, with faith, your relationship with Him will grow stronger and stronger and He will be glorified and you will be amazed. So don’t give up, look to God and trust Him. Isaiah the prophet said, “A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)