What is your greatest desire? What do you want most in life? I have been studying the life of Paul lately. As I have studied I have found that Paul’s greatest desire was to know Jesus and to make Jesus known. This sums up his answer to the above questions. Which has led me to ponder my own answers. Do I desire a great job, a great education, a big house, expensive cars. Do I want a comfortable life with all my wants met? Or do I want to know Jesus and make Him known no matter what?
Recently I heard a sermon on Paul’s greatest desire. It was based on Philippians 3. Paul begins by making a list of all his accomplishments. He says, “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 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 righteousness based on the law, faultless (3:4-6).” He says I have the greatest family history of most. My family kept the law and followed all the rules and traditions. But not just my family line, I too was a Pharisee. I kept the law, I followed all the rules even to the point of killing Christians because this went against the Pharisees. Paul also had the best education, he was taught and trained under Gamiel the best teacher in that day. As a Pharisee of that family line, I’m sure Paul’s family was wealthy and Paul had a great position, a great job. He was known and respected by all. Until one day He saw the light and his life was radically changed forever.
In this passage Paul goes on to say,” But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, 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 on the basis of faith (3:7-9).” Paul says none of this stuff matters, in fact he considered it all worthless, garbage. What was most important to him was Christ. Everything else was trivial.
He says, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (3:10-11).”
Paul wanted nothing more than to know Christ. To know Him and to make Him known. No matter what the cost. Everywhere he went he told people of Jesus, when alone he studied and mediated on Christ.
I believe Paul was real. Not only did he talk the talk, he walked the walk. Others knew what he believed and he lived it. I am convinced what the world needs now is not better programs, better preachers, etc. What the world needs now is authentic Christians who desire to know Jesus and make Him known. Christians who are real and who are willing to risk it all for the sake of Christ.
So as we get ready to start a new year, my greatest desire is to truly know Jesus. That my life would radiate Christ, that I would be a pleasing aroma of Him, that others would truly see Jesus alive and living in me and say hey there is something different about her. That my life would be contagious, leading others to truly desire to know Jesus in their lives and to make Him known.