Knowing Jesus caused a shift, an earthquake with my soul as the epicenter.
And I found myself in good company. Let’s look at Paul—before and after. Paul gives a before shot in Philippians 3:5-6 (NIV):
“ . . . circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.”
Did you catch that? “ . . . as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.”
Paul obeyed to the letter of the Law. I can identify. I’m a rule follower too. But something changed. Let’s keep reading.
“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 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.” (Philippians 3:7-9NIV)
Did you catch the shift from rules to relationship? Words like “faith” and “know” appear. Words absent in the resume of vv. 5-6.
I was a Pharisee too, though not up to Paul’s standard. A rule-follower. Judgmental toward those who didn’t. In the last five years, something has shifted. My heart has changed, and so have my motives. Grace flows where criticism once dripped.
How? Why? I’m not sure. I didn’t have a road-to-Damascus moment like Paul, but Jesus began to reveal Himself to me. I had sensed the Holy Spirit working before but this was different.
“Jesus loves me this I know” became personal. Real. For me.
And I’ve fallen in love.
Matthew 7:21-23 has given me pause for years.
“ ‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on this day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.’”
Note—all were doing things that were good and right. The determining factor? Knowing Jesus.
“I never knew you.”
Paul, the faultless Pharisee, didn’t know Him either. The first question Paul asked when he fell off his horse on the Damascus road was “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus introduced Himself, and when Paul left Damascus days later, he left knowing Jesus.
Do you know Him? I’m not asking if you are doing the right stuff or know about Him. I mean, do you know Him?
If you’re not sure, ask Him to show you. To reveal the state of your heart. To reveal Himself.
It’s a prayer with a guaranteed “yes.” He already knows you. He wants you to know Him.
Is outward obedience enough?
For your children as they obey you?
For yourself with God?
Do heart motives matter? Why?
Can you do the right thing for the wrong reason?
Can you do the wrong thing for the right reason?
What drives you? Self or Savior?
Knowing Jesus caused a shift, an earthquake with my soul as the epicenter. Click to tweet.
Grace flows where criticism once dripped. Click to tweet.
“Jesus loves me this I know” became personal. Real. For me. Click to tweet.
The first question Paul asked was “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus introduced Himself, and when Paul left Damascus, he left knowing Jesus. Click to tweet.
Do you know Him? I’m not asking if you are doing the right stuff or know about Him. I mean, do you know Him? Click to tweet.
If you’re not sure, ask Him to show you. It’s a prayer with a guaranteed “yes.” He already knows you. He wants you to know Him. Click to tweet.