MY DETERMINED PURPOSEA couple of weeks ago, I began walking with a wonderful group of believers through a series called "One on One with God". The emphasis is upon becoming a true disciple...going beyond studying and learning about God, but rather becoming intimately acquainted with God.
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death... (Philippians 3:10 AMP)
In our journey together, we are focused on following Jesus Christ and developing a deepening relationship with Him. The Scriptural basis for the study is Philippians 3:10. From this verse, we discover that the Apostle, Paul expressed three primary life-goals These goals are a powerful model of life to emulate.
First, a little background...Paul writes this powerful letter from a Roman prison, which was a dark and depressing backdrop. A prison in Rome had little in common with what we imagine a prison to be today... More like a pit than a cell, these dungeon-like spaces often had a narrow staircase that descended into darkness. It has been suggested that the phrase "to be cast into prison" had its origins here.
One historian described these prisons as follows. "Its appearance is disgusting and vile by reason of the filth, the darkness and the stench." It was into this room, 6 1/2 ft. high, thirty feet long and twenty-two feet wide, that prisoners who had been condemned to die either by strangulation or starvation were thrown. It was a dark, damp and foreboding subterranean structure." These harsh conditions would no doubt test the mettle of the strongest spirit. And it is in that environment of hopelessness that Paul fills the pages of his letter with themes of joy, victory, and gratitude. From this hopeless pit, Paul shares three primary goals:
1) TO KNOW HIM
2) TO GLORIFY (honor) HIM
3) TO BECOME LIKE HIM
This week, I want to investigate each of these goals and begin to flesh out what they mean in the life of the believer.
Lord, in the coming days, help us to join Paul in pursuit of intimacy with you!
Give us a fresh grasp of your love
Give us a fresh taste of your grace
Give us a fresh desire to serve
Give us a fresh understanding of our calling
Give us a fresh hope for our families
Give us a fresh purpose in our task