The Verse of the Day for March 26, 2017 comes from Philippians 1:29 (NIV):
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,
This verse also brings to mind this passage from Philippians 3:10-11
God desires that each individual believer might know Christ, that is, have a personal knowledge of who he is, to know him. This kind of knowing corresponds to the Greek word ginosko, translated “to know” in the New Testament. Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger in his Critical Greek Concordance and Lexicon translates the verb:
To perceive, observe, obtain knowledge of or insight into. It denotes a personal and true relationship between the person knowing and the object known, i.e. to be influenced by one’s knowledge of the object, to suffer one’s self to be determined thereby (p. 485).
Once an individual knows God on such an intimate, experiential level, that person “knows for himself or herself,” and that individual is forever changed.
God also desires that we know him, as He expresses His deep desire for intimacy on a very personal level. We come to know God through the Word of God. As we establish and maintain our relationship with him, we also experience not only the power of his resurrection but also the fellowship of sufferings, knowing that if we suffer with him we will also be glorified with him, as Romans 8:18 makes known:
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
As we move into the season preceding the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we take comfort in knowing that as we partake of his suffering, we shall also be partakers or those who share fully in the glory of his resurrection.
About four years ago, a dear friend was sharing some of the trying circumstances that he was going through at the time. While I was not living under identical conditions that generated great stress, I remarked, “I know what you mean.” He looked up at me and smiled, as he fought back the tears, recognizing that I understood at a deeper level the anguish that he was enduring at the time that we were speaking.
In a similar way, we express our desire to know Christ on such an intimate level. We thus become “seekers of God’s heart.” We close our discussion with in this moving song by Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, and Steve Green: