When we say we know someone, what do we mean? The Apostle Paul desired with all his heart to know Jesus. Today’s Bible Journaling verse says, “ that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:10-12 NASB 1995) That should be the desire of every Believer as well.
How do we get to know someone? We spend time with them, engaging in conversation, and doing activities that both people have in common. The same applies to our relationship with Jesus; we must spend time with Him if we are to know His character. That should be our primary purpose and then we are to act upon that purpose by sharing Jesus with others. The Apostle Paul went from a Pharisee bent on extinguishing the people who were part of this new sect that became known as Christians. They were also known as the people of The Way. Paul was on a mission to Damascus to kill Believers and on the road to Damascus, God got hold of Paul and changed him from a man bent on destroying Christians to a man who became one of their greatest teachers and preachers. Paul’s reason for existing changed and so did the way he lived.
Paul desired to know Jesus and the power that comes from His resurrection. The study notes in my Bible say, “This verse may also be paraphrased: “In order that I may personally know Him, that I might both experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, and thus I will be more and more conformed to His death.’” My study Bible goes on to say that Paul desired this so that he could obtain a personal relationship with Jesus in his day-to-day walk with God. “This knowledge of Christ is obtained by experiencing in daily problems, needs, ministry, and so forth, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.” The more we study His Word, communicate with Him in prayer, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, the more we get to know Him, and in knowing Him better, it changes us from the inside out.
Paul’s actions changed drastically. He didn’t follow Jesus and just sit back and wait for Jesus’ Second Coming. No, he got to work and began sharing the Gospel, teaching about Jesus, demonstrating how we are to live as Believers, and helping new Christians in their faith walk. The more he got to know Jesus’ character, he desired to be just like Jesus, and he taught the early church that they should also have this goal. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV) Paul says that our lives should show a renewing of the mind, and therefore our actions would follow. But, if we don’t know the character of Jesus, how can we change to be like Him?
Daily prayer and Bible study help us to get to know Him, and then we are to model our lives after His and allow that life to show forth to those around us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV) When our lives show the character of Jesus, others will see it and will draw them to Him. We should desire, like Paul, to know Jesus intimately so they can see Him through us.