Sunday, October 21, 2007

Philippians 3:12-16


10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

1-That I may know Him-This is not to know a lot about Jesus, but to know Him personally, experientially! In order for you to cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus, you must learn more and more of what He said and did. Then, the more you ask, "What Would Jesus Do?", the more you will discover this Jesus intimately.

2-That I may know the power of His resurrection-Paul and Timothy shared this passion-to know the power of Jesus, the power that raised Jesus from the dead. It's important to realize that it was the resurrection power that changed the disciples from a weak-willed group of stumble-bums into a confident team of revolutionaries that turned the world upside down! When you know the power of the resurrection of Jesus, you know that it supersedes all powers within the universe.

3-That I may know the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death-Paul experienced this greatest of powers, the power of the resurrection, when Jesus apprehended him on the road to Damascus, THEN he was persecuted, beaten, stoned, thrown into prison and his life constantly threatened. He quickly came to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. You simply cannot have one without the other-the good with the bad. Note that the sufferings and death of Jesus is the greatest demonstration of love ever! To know and share in His sufferings and death is to absorb that principle into our lives, so that we may know how to be lovers in this cold, cruel world.

4-That I may attain to the resurrection of the dead-This is not expressing any doubt that there is the resurrection of the dead at the end, but an expression of Paul's ultimate goal that somehow, whatever the path may be, he will make it to the grand day of the resurrection.

These heart desires give great insight into what Paul and Timothy felt was most important. And, it sets an example for us. I have meditated on these verses over the years, but I've never felt more in tune in my heart with these desires than I do today. I want to know Jesus better, THE PERSON OF JESUS AND NOT JUST THE FACTS ABOUT HIM!

I want to know and experience the power of His resurrection, THE POWER OF JESUS AND NOT BE LIMITED TO MY ABILITIES!

I want to know the fellowship of His sufferings by being conformed to His death, THE PICTURE OF JESUS' LOVE FOR EVERYONE!

I want to somehow attain to the resurrection of the dead, no matter what road God leads, THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF DEFEATING DEATH THROUGH THE RESURRECTION PAVES THE WAY FOR MY RESURRECTION SOMEDAY!

This reminds me Jesus' words in the Gospel of John, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE; HE THAT BELIEVES IN ME, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES SHALL LIVE! I want to live that resurrection life and share in the sufferings of Jesus. How about you?