Opening day! Play ball! It is that time of year again where everyone who follows baseball has hope. Will the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series since 1908? Is it the smell of a fresh cut outfield or someone enticing you to “get your red hots here” that brings out the passion in you? In Philippians 3:4-14, Paul writes about “knowing” God. Paul was passionate about his relationship with God. Being passionate about something is in each of us. Passion is defined as an intense desire toward something or someone and that can apply to just about any area in our life. Passion ought to appear in the believer’s life as well. We should be passionate about our Savior. We should seek to know this Jesus who saved us.
Oftentimes, we claim to know people but do we really know them? Have we invested the time it takes to “know” someone? Some have head knowledge but not heart knowledge about Jesus. He is not the “man upstairs” he is the world’s Savior, the virgin-born Son of God who accepted death in our place and then rose again to sit at the Father’s right hand. Who is this Jesus that willingly died? Why did He give His life? Ask yourself:
1. How well do I “know” God?
Charles Stanley wrote, “Oftentimes people get saved and remain satisfied with this first step—knowing a few facts about God is enough for them. If they are asked, 'Do you know God?' most will say that they do. But there’s a vast difference between knowing facts about God and personally relating to Him. Believers should continually be growing closer to the Father—always learning more about whom He is and what He considers important.” In other words, though we’ve gained Heaven, we can miss the treasure of experiencing Christ as Lord. How deep are we willing to go to know God? Are you willing to count your life outside of serving God as trash?
2. Are you willing to count your life outside of serving God as trash?
After listing his accomplishments, Paul said in verse 8 that he “counts them but dung.” do you consider what you do and who you are trash compared to who God is and what he has done? The more Paul got intimate with God the more intimate he wanted to be. The more Paul got to “know” God, the less he cared about himself. Paul realized it was not about him but his life was all about God. He was going "to press" toward the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.
3. What are you pressing for…moving forward with God or living on the past?
Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, it’s safe to say Thomas Edison tried and failed many times before he successfully created his light bulb. When questioned about his repeated failures, he said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Paul said in verse 14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul forgot the past, forgot his agenda, and pressed toward knowing and serving God in God’s way. Living in the past is detrimental and serves no purpose. Knowing God personally gives us a will and desire to press on. The calling of God far exceeds any calling this life has to offer. How passionate are you about knowing and serving God Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.