Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 58
Passage of the Day: Philippians 3: 10a [in the context of verses 8-11] [NLT] …
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ 9 and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Philippians 3 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Matthew 14: 22-23 : [NLT] … [If it’s good enough for Jesus, shouldn’t it be good enough for me?]
22 Immediately after this [i.e., the feeding of the thousands with a few fishes and loaves], Jesus made His disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home. 23 Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.
My Journal for Today: Years ago, a mentor asked me, “Bill, do you want your life to be blessed by God?” … Well, that was a no-brainer to answer. Of course, I wanted to be blessed by God! So, after answering affirmatively, he asked me what I was thinking and doing to bring Gods’ blessing. That one was not so easy to answer; and so, he taught me this chain of purpose.
He said, “To know God is to love God; … to love God is to obey God; … to obey God is to serve God; … and to serve God is to be blessed by God.” So, for me to live to be blessed by God, the first line in this chain should be my first goal in life? And I could see that it was TO KNOW GOD.
And in today’s Hillman devotional, the editor first points to the witness of the Apostle Paul to his beloved Philippian friends in this regard. And in Philippians 3: 8-10, copied above, we read how Paul had come to realize that the only way he (or any Christian) would experience the resurrection power of Christ would be to know Him deeply and intimately. So, that being true, what do we do, as Christ’s disciples, to REALLY KNOW our Lord?
Well, Jesus, Himself modeled the answer to that one; and I’ve copied one such time [from Matthew 14, also found in Mark 6: 45-46] when Jesus showed us, by His example, how to know God intimately; and in mediating on that passage, what can we learn about what it takes to really know God, the Father?
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, in setting aside His glory and majesty for a season of earthly time, knew that, in his humanity, He, though not losing any of His divinity, had to be totally dependent upon God, the Father, and rely on God, the Holy Spirit, to provide Him, as God’s Son, the power and direction to complete His earthly sojourn, which would lead to the cross. So, anytime Jesus needed direction, power, or renewal, He would go to be alone and pray (and sometimes fast as He did when He had to confront Satan in the wilderness (see Matt. 4 and Luke 4). And as I’ve said in my devotionals many times, and often need to be reminded personally, “If it’s good enough for Jesus, shouldn’t it be good enough for me?”
If Jesus needed to invest close, focused prayer time with God to know His will and to be able to glean His power from God’s Spirit, wouldn’t it be logical – especially since Jesus did so over and over again – that I follow my Lord’s example. That’s what Paul had discovered and was teaching Christians in the highlight passage above. Knowing God and ultimately receiving His blessing of empowerment depends on the depth of an intimate and abiding relationship with our Lord. And that – i.e, getting to know God – depends on spending deep and focused time with Him, … sharing openly with Him, … and being willing to listen to Him through His Spirit. And that my friends, will depend on our deep/abiding prayer-life where we, in solitude, reach out to commune with our God, sometimes even with fasting, to glean what He has to give us from His resurrection power.
That’s why my time here each morning – EVERY MORNING – in prayer, and delving into His word, is so, so important to me. I want to know my God as deeply and intimately as I can. And as I get to know my God,. through the discipline of my daily solitude and time in prayer and meditation in His word, I know that each day I’m here I’ll love Him more, obey Him more, leading to more in service to Him, … which will yield more of His blessings in my life?
So, I hope you’re here with me, … in this place, getting to know Your God more today than yesterday; and that you’ll be back to spend time with Him tomorrow to know Him even more intimately then. And just being here with Him today, is a blessing, isn’t it?
My Prayer for Today … Lord, my time with You is so sweet! … Amen