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December 8 Today’s Reading: Philippians 3-Colossians 1
“That I May Know Him”
I know that Christ is mine and I am his. Yet, I count all things but loss and dung that I might win him, that I might be found in him, that I might know him. I know him; but, oh, how I want to know him! I want constantly renewed, ever increasing knowledge of and communion with the Son of God. This is the ambition of my heart. — I want to know him, my God and my Savior, my Redeemer and my Lord!
I want to know him who is the great Benefactor of my soul. I want to know the mysteries and glories of his person, the riches of his grace, the greatness of his salvation, the benefits of his mercies, and the depth of his love. May the God of all grace give us grace never to take our eyes off of Christ! My soul, let Christ be the all-consuming Object of your being! — “That I may know him!”
The Power of His Resurrection
I want to “know him in the power of his resurrection.” It is the power of his resurrection that declares that we are justified (Romans 4:25). The power of his resurrection gives us spiritual and eternal life in him (Ephesians 1:19). The power of his resurrection guarantees our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:47-49). I want to live every day, experimentally walking in the knowledge of the power of his resurrection. Walking with Christ in the newness of life, I want the power of his resurrection to dominate, control, and direct my life in all things. I want to be continually made new by him.
The Fellowship of His Sufferings
I want “to know him in the fellowship of his sufferings.” I want to know my personal interest in his sufferings. And I want to know what he accomplished in his sufferings. We know that our blessed Savior accomplished our forgiveness, justification, and sanctification, and obtained eternal redemption for us by his suffering and death as our Substitute. As his sufferings are his glory, I want his sufferings to be my glory (Galatians 6:14).
Conformed to His Death
I want to know Christ and the fellowship of his sufferings to such an extent that I am ever “being made conformable unto his death.” This is what that means. — I want to be conformed to Christ in his death, to be entirely consecrated to the glory of God, perfectly submissive to the will of God, and motivated by nothing but love for my God and his people.
That I Might Attain
“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (vv. 11-14).
Certainly, this includes a great desire for the resurrection of my body at the last day. But primarily, the yearning spoken of here is a yearning for that moral, spiritual resurrection of grace that lifts us out of the death and darkness of sin. The world, the flesh, and all human life are death. In Christ there is life, real life, eternal life, a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in communion with God. This is what I want. I have not yet attained it; but I am reaching for it.
In a word, I want all that God purposed for me in eternity and Christ purchased for me at Calvary (Ephesians 1:3-6). — I want to be like Christ! These are the ambitions of my heart, the goals I seek, the things for which I live. I pray that God will make them more and more real to me. And I pray that he will make them your heart’s ambitions as well.
Let us set our hearts upon these things, and by the grace of God we shall have them. — “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (vv. 20-21).