Knowing Christ is our primary calling: God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithfulNow this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. The Greek word for know is ginosko which implies not merely intellectual knowledge of God, but a deep love relationship with Him. It has the idea of progressively recognizing and perceiving who God is in Christ. Jesus Christ put it in these terms: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity (Jn.17:23a). He conveyed a similar idea using the Shepherd/sheep metaphor: His sheep know Him, listen to His voice, and follow Him. He in turn lays down His life for them. (Jn. 10:14, 15, 27)
QUESTION: Do your present priorities reflect the fact that you truly believe that intimacy with Christ is number one?
Knowing Christ involves an intense pursuit of Him: The prophet Hosea cried out, Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him (Hos. 6:3a). That phrase, press on means to run and to chase after; to hunt and pursue with intensity. God then promises, He will respond to us surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring (Hos. 6:3b). Similarly, Paul states, I am pursuing onward if I may lay hold of that for which I have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12a Wuest). The imagery here is of a Greek runner streaking down the race course, keeping his eye on the chase. He is pressing on toward a fixed goal. Paul continues, [I] am stretching forward to the things that are in front; bearing down upon the goal (Phil 3:12- Wuest). Talk about intensity to know Christ! Paul had previously stated, Every advantage I had gained I considered loss for Christs sake. Yes, and I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil. 3:7, 8a Phil. Trans.).
QUESTION: Are you engaged in an intense pursuit of knowing Christ, or is it a rather casual affair?
Knowing Christ is tied to uncompromising obedience to the word of God: If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his loveIf you love me, you will obey what I commandWhoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love Him and show myself to HimBut if anyone obeys His word, God's love is truly made complete in Him. This is how we know we are in HimThose who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us (Jn. 15:10; 14:15, 21; I Jn. 2:5; 3:24).
QUESTION: In the integrity of your heart are you sincerely applying Gods word to your life, or are you just dithering around?
Knowing Christ is the product of the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit in revealing His love for us: Paul: I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19). (See Eph. 3:12-21)
QUESTION: Are you inviting the Holy Spirit to increasingly reveal Jesus to you at a deeper level?
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill