Advantages Of Knowing Jesus
“7 But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ’s sake. 8 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), “Philippians 3:7-8 Amplified Bible
Paul tells us that everything of the world, all the outward advantages and external appearances, are worthless compared to Christ. Paul’s experience has taught him that if we take every victory we experience in the world, every acknowledgment, award, credit and reward of this world, it is worthless. Take every moment that you count as a great triumph and success in the natural and Paul has said that it is all counted in his estimation as loss for Christ’s sake.
Compared to the privilege, worth, and supreme advantage of knowing Jesus and becoming deeply acquainted with Him everything is loss in this life no matter how great it is acclaimed by the world. Jesus wants to have you know Him more! Here is the great advantage for you: the more you look to Him and away from the world, the more you come to “know” Jesus, and the more you will personally understand the deeper things of His truth. You can learn some of this truth by listening to others or reading devotionals like this one. But nothing will compare to the knowledge and depth of understanding of the unknowable things by “knowing” Him.
Seek after this “knowing” of Him and you will be thrilled by what is revealed to you. But you will also come to see that this is a progressive knowing, a progressive acquaintance with the deeper things of Jesus. The more you progress in this “knowing” of Jesus the more fully you will see His truth and you will understand Jesus and His ways with a growing and greater clarity.
Paul had experienced these things to the point that he emphasizes the gains of becoming more intimately acquainted with Jesus as gain and everything else, even the “great” natural things are really nothing but rubbish and refuse by contrast to growing in the knowledge of Jesus.
There is no middle ground for Paul (and we could well learn from his experience), all things are either loss if of the world, or gain if in Jesus. This brings us to the question we must ask ourselves. What is it that I value? If you are tired of the fruitlessness of even the great things of this world, then follow the directions of Paul and count everything as loss compared to the growing acquaintance and knowledge of Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler