Philippians 3:8 (NIV 1984) "What is more, 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."
She was born February 11, 1962 in Kennett, Missouri. Her father's name is Wendell and her mother is Bernice. She has two older sisters and one younger brother. After graduating from the University of Missouri she was hired in St. Louis as an elementary school music teacher where she taught children with special needs and autism.
She played nights and weekends with various bands. She made advertisement jingles for Toyota and McDonald's. At age 24 she headed for Los Angeles and did some songwriting for Wynonna Judd and Celine Dion. A few years later in 1989 she joined Michael Jackson with his "Bad" tour. Later she traveled with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton to Bosnia for a goodwill tour to visit the military troops.
Her list of Grammy Awards and credits is numerous. I must really know this lady. In fact, we are actually distant cousins. Any guesses who she might be?
Similarly, people may boast in their knowledge of God yet not possess a personal relationship with Him. Sharing facts about God or the Bible is not a guarantee that we know Christ. We may have the Book and be able to recite its stories, but this too does not validate a personal relationship with Jesus. Neither does going to church.
Knowledge about God and His Word should not puff us up but rather give us the understanding of how to become transformed into His likeness. The goal for our Christian lives is not merely information, but rather transformation. The knowledge of truth must penetrate our heart, not just our head.
The Apostle Paul knew Christ and he did not waver in his life's ambition expressed in Philippians 3:7-11. His goal: to know Christ Jesus his Lord. Verses 7-8 "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, 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." When our personal pursuit matches Paul's, then we too, will know Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Greek word for "know" in verse eight stems from the verb "ginosko" which carries the idea to learn to know, come to know, understand, perceive, feel. This is not just knowledge or information, but rather it communicates a knowledge coming from intimacy. This is how a relationship with Christ is established and experienced; through intimate knowledge of Jesus.
Jesus doesn't want lip service and a spreadsheet of all the facts we contain about Him. He wants us to actually KNOW Him. A heart engaged in a relationship with Him will desire to go deeper and invest the necessary time to really be intimate with their Savior. Jesus is telling us, "Love me. Talk to me. Commune with me. Have a relationship with me. Don't just know facts about me. Let's do life together."
May each of our lives echo Paul's personal pursuit: to know Christ Jesus our Lord.
Join me next week for Part 2.
Ask the Lord to reveal how you can deepen your relationship with Him.
Evaluate your life's passion and ambition. Does it look like Paul's?
What needs to change in your life, habits, schedules, etc., in order for you to know Christ?
Write Philippians 3:8 on an index card today. Memorize and internalize this verse.
What does knowing Christ mean to you? How does your relationship with Him permeate into your life?
Heart Transforming Word:
Hosea 6:3 & 6 (NLT) "Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings."
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "
John 14:8-9 " 'Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." '
2 Corinthians 3:4 "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."
Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the Law, Christ died for nothing!"
Galatians 3:11 " 'Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." '
Philippians 3:10 "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."
Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen. Edited 2013. All rights reserved.