man watching sunsetAs I get older I realize more and more how quickly our days on this earth pass and how important it is that we pause and pray for a heart of wisdom — that we might live each day in a way that brings glory to God.

In Psalm 39:4 we read, “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” With age comes new perspective. We must use our time wisely. Scripture is full of passages encouraging us to be intentional in our relationship with God — living with His presence in all facets of our lives.

The Apostle Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote the letter to the Philippians. And despite his outward circumstances he exhorted them to keep their eyes on Christ. We are not to put too much emphasis on the past or worry about the future, but to “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)

Further, Paul reminds us that our primary focus in life is to pursue an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. And as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, obeying, serving, and loving to become natural by-products. These characteristics become the “fruit” of spending time in His presence.

Knowing Christ refers to an intimate and intentional relationship. It is not about what church or denomination we belong to. Nor is it about our personal spiritual performance. It has nothing to do with how much we contribute in gifts or works. For it is by God’s grace alone that we are saved through faith in Christ’s death for us. The “fruits” in our lives are a by-product of our relationship with Christ, not a means for obtaining it.

Paul wrote, “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. I want to know Christ…” (Philippians 3:8–10)

Paul says of his pursuit of knowing Christ better and better that he “presses on,” and “strains toward” Him. Paul urges us, “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” (Philippians 3:17)

Knowing Christ ever more deeply should be the goal of us all. He is the pearl of great price, the treasure found in a field worth selling all else to obtain!

Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:44–45

Personal Application

  • How would you describe your relationship with Christ? What would you like it to look like?
  • Based on what Paul says in Philippians, what are some ways you can continue to deepen your relationship with Christ?

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5