Summary: Knowing Jesus is life’s greatest privilege and our most urgent need
That I May Know Him
The importance of having our priorities in the right order
A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck.
"Where’s Harry?" he was asked.
"Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail."
"You left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?"
"Well," said the hunter, "I figured no one was going to steal Harry."
Topic: Our greatest priority is to "know" Jesus.
Application: Knowing Jesus is life’s greatest privilege and our most urgent need.
Along that line we will be looking at the apostle Paul, who had a very remarkable transformation in his life.
He went from a persecutor of Jesus, to a man who was persecuted because of his ministry to Jesus.
What made this possible? Two things:
1. 1st Paul had a personal encounter with his lord and savoir Jesus the Christ.
2. 2nd Paul had the right order of priorities in his life;
Than the church,
To gain some insight lets look at some amazing statements Paul made when he wrote to the Christians at Philippi. We will be reading from Philippians 3:7-14.
When Paul was addressing the Christians at Philippi, he was thankful for their ministry, he wanted them to know his joy, and he also wanted them know his motivation for serving the Lord.
• Paul wanted the Philippian church to have this experience also.
• Paul wanted the Philippians to Know Jesus in a larger number of ways, in various levels of experience, and the various facets of His character and nature. (Get to know Jesus in depth)
What Paul did say:
1st Nothing is more important than knowing Jesus in a deep and personal way.
Vs 7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
Knowing Jesus is not just knowledge of facts, theories, ideas, or carefully worded theology.
Developing a relationship with someone requires a commitment of time and energy.
So it is with your relationship with Jesus Christ; it takes time to learn some of the basic principles of the Christian life.
2nd Paul was not content with a mere religion, ceremony, or ritual.
Paul was religious before he was saved, but his religion could not save him. He had to lose his religion in order to find eternal life
Vs 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
What did Paul obtain through faith in Christ? Righteousness, for one thing Paul had plenty of legal righteousness, but he lacked that true righteousness that God demands and that He alone can give.
3rd Paul wanted to know Jesus so intimately that he could even suffer for his savior.
Vs. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Polycarp (2nd Century)
Can you imagine what it was like for the church in Smyrna as they watched their beloved and aged pastor burn at the stake? Polycarp was his name. he was a disciple of Jesus’ disciple, the Apostle John. One could tell it immediately because he possessed the same tenderness and compassion as his mentor.
Polycarp was Bishop of the church at Smyrna (present day Turkey). Persecution broke out in Smyrna and many Christians were fed to the wild beasts in the arena. The godless and bloodthirsty crowd called for the carcass of the leader – Polycarp.
The authorities sent a search party to find him. He had been taken into hiding for some Christians but the Romans tortured two young believers until they finally disclosed his location. When the authorities arrival was announced there was still time to whisk Polycarp away but he refused to go saying, “God’s will be done.”
In one of the most touching instances of Christian grace imaginable Polycarp welcome his captors as if they were friends. He talked with them and insisted they eat a meal. Ha made only one request before being taken away – he asked for one hour to pray. The Roman soldiers listened to his prayer. Their hearts melted and they gave him 2 hours to pray. They had second thoughts as well and were overheard asking each other why they were sent to arrest him?