How Much Effort?

Stan Mast

READ : Philippians 3:4-8, 12-14

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (v. 12 NIV)

How much effort are you willing to make in order to know Christ better? In verses 4-6 Paul lists all the things he once treasured, all the things he once trusted to make his life good and pleasing to God. Now he says, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.” He doesn’t mean all those things are bad. He means that on a scale of priorities, knowing Christ is more important than anything. Think of all you treasure. How much do you want to know Christ?

Now think about all the things into which you plan to put your time and energy this year. In verses 12-14 Paul looks ahead and says, “I have not achieved the knowledge I want, but I press on to take hold of it. One thing I do . . . straining toward what lies ahead, I press on.” He compares himself to an Olympic athlete straining with every fiber of his being, every muscle, every breath, every heartbeat. We can know Christ better, but will we make the effort? How much?

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. We are not saved by our passion for Christ, but by his passion for us. That’s the good news. But the rest of the good news is that we can know him more, if we get passionate about it.

PRAYER

Father, strengthen me through your Spirit so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith (Eph. 3:16-17). Amen.