What a magnificent, miraculous, and permanent transformation that took place in Paul’s life! One day he was persecuting and destroying God’s people and the true church of Jesus Christ; the next day, to a transformed, faithful, devout, disciple of Jesus Himself.
Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8, “But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)…”
He went on to say (v.12), “Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.”
We also (God’s children) are to be faithful pilgrims on a progressive journey seeking to know Christ Jesus more intimately every day through obedience and faithfulness to Him alone.
The writer of Hebrews (12:1-2) encourages us to, “… strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Let us press on to the high calling and maturity in Jesus our Lord! And remember these words (from John 15:4) where Jesus spoke, “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.”
Scripture: Philippians 3:7,8,12; Hebrews 12:1,2; John 15:4
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