Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Recently I had the opportunity and privilege to speak at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony for Lititz Christian School, a ministry of Grace Church. It was a special thrill due to the fact that my daughter, Joy, was one of the one’s being inducted.

I shared from Philippians 3 where Paul tells us that his passion in life is to “know Christ!” In fact, when Paul compares all other passions (i.e. power, prestige, wealth, fame, etc.) with knowing Christ, he states that he considers everything else as “loss.” This was a word meaning to be “worthless.” Paul used this word elsewhere to describe his shipwreck in which the cargo was thrown overboard in attempt for survival. As the ship was going down, suddenly all of those valuable possessions became worthless in comparison to saving their very lives. So is every other passion when compared side by side with the passion of knowing Christ.

Paul actually goes a step further. He says that in comparison to knowing Christ, he considers everything else “rubbish.” This word described the useless waste that remains after a flood. In some cases, this word was used to describe “dung.” In today’s world we elevate so many passions to a place ahead of our passion for Christ. Paul states that when compared to our passion to know Christ, all other passions seem like worthless dung.

Paul expounds on his passion to know Christ in three ways. In each case he uses a word translated “know” that speaks of more than simple intellectual knowledge. This word speaks of knowing by experience. He states first that his passion is to “know Christ.” His passion was to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else in life is “loss” and “rubbish” in comparison. An intimate relationship with Christ only occurs as we spend time daily in the Bible and in prayer.

Second, Paul states that his passion is to “know the power of His resurrection.” In Acts 1:8, we are told that when the Holy Spirit came we would receive “power” to be witnesses for Jesus. This word “power” in the Greek language is where we get our English word “dynamite.” God did not give us the Holy Spirit for us to be “firecracker” Christians. He gave us His Spirit so that we would be “dynamite” Christians…so that we would do big things for God. D.L. Moody once said, “If God be your partner, make your plans large!” I like that! By the way, this power was specifically so that we would be “witnesses” of Christ. The root word in the original language for “witnesses” is the same root word for “martyr.” God gave us His Spirit so that we would be such dynamic witnesses for Christ that we would even be willing to lay down our lives in so doing.

Paul also stated that his passion was to “know the fellowship of His suffering.” He actually desired to know His pain. He desired to be so committed to the Lord that He was willing to suffer for and with Him. This is complete passion.

So tell me, what is you passion?

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