What does it mean to you to know Jesus?
Plenty of people believe in God. Plenty of people know about Jesus. But do they know Jesus? Do you know Jesus?
There’s a difference between knowing about Jesus, and knowing Jesus.
Knowing Jesus means that you are in a relationship with him. He is a friend, a brother. You spend time with him. You talk with him. And he talks with you.
He’s more than one of people in your circle of friends. He’s the center of your circle. When you have something exciting to share, he’s the first person you want to celebrate with. When you are hit with a trial, he’s the first person you go to.
You consider your relationship with Jesus to be more valuable than anything this world has to offer. You have given up much for the sake of knowing Jesus. And you’d do it all over again.
More than anything you want to know Jesus.
When you know Jesus, your life is marked three indicators:
You experience the power of his resurrection.
Jesus died on the cross. But he didn’t stay dead. Three days later he was raised from the dead. When you come to know Jesus, you experience a personal resurrection. You die to your old self and are raised to new life in Christ. The old, with all of its guilt, and shame, and bitterness is gone. The new life of joy and peace and confidence has come. If you know Jesus, you have experienced a heart resurrection.
You share in his sufferings.
For Jesus, his resurrection came after his physical death. For us, this first resurrection comes when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It comes when we put all of our trust in Jesus instead of in our good works. But, unless it is a deathbed confession, there is still life on this earth to be lived. And that life will involve pain. If you know Jesus, your are suffering for his sake.
You become like him in his death.
But your suffering is not only for his sake, it’s for your sanctification. Your suffering has purpose. God uses your suffering to shape you more and more into the woman (or man) you were created to be. You become more and more like Jesus shining his image into your family, your neighborhood, your community. You become like in in his death. Death for you is just a doorway into greater life. If you know Jesus, you are becoming more and more like him … all the way to death.
The end result of knowing Jesus is yet to come. The end result is glorious resurrection from the dead. This is what we’re going after. When Jesus returns the dead in Christ will rise. We will get new bodies that are not marked with cancer, disease, or the ravages of simply living in this fallen world. We will attain the ultimate resurrection.
Knowing about Jesus is vastly different that knowing Jesus. When you know Jesus you experience his power in your life, your suffering has purpose, and death is just a doorway to a much better life. Is your life marked by these indicators?
Do you know him?
You’ve joined us Riverside! Welcome! We are gathering Riverside, just like Lydia and her friends did. And we’re walking together through the book of Philippians. If you like what you’ve read, would you share it with your friends? And if you’d like to talk with me about knowing Jesus, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to talk with you.
This weekend I’ll be speaking at a women’s conference in Virginia. I’m so excited and I would really, really love your prayers. If you’re willing to pray for me this weekend, would you leave me a comment and let me know? It would mean so much!