Pursuing a Relationship

Philippians 3:10-21 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Text Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”

The attitude of apathy among some Christians is mostly due to the absence of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. While they as believers know Him as the friend of sinners, they have never considered Him to be a friend of saints. Paul pursued a personal relationship with Christ because relationships don’t happen; you must work at it! A relationship requires time. Paul used terms like “I follow after”, “reaching forth” and “I press.” All these terms speak of time that Paul spent walking with the Lord. Ever since God had made Himself known to him on the Damascus road, Paul had consistently lived in the shadow of the Almighty. A relationship requires truth. A relationship can’t be built upon falsehoods; you must know the truth about the individual that you are going to develop a relationship with. Speaking to a young Christian, an old preacher said; “Confine your search to the Word of God, for in it is everything that God wants you to know about Himself.” If your want a relationship with God; study His Word. A relationship requires testing. Paul’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ would constantly be put to the test by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Speaking of some of the tests, Paul speaks of prisons, beating, shipwrecks, and perils of robbers, just to mention a few. The quality of a relationship is no greater than the test or opposition it takes to break it! Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said, “Henceforth I call you not servants . . . but I have called you friends” (John 15:15). We are blessed to experience His forgiveness; but more blessed to experience His friendship!