As we noticed last week, the laser-like focus of the apostle Paul’s faith can be seen throughout his letters. Why was Paul so intense about his faith? What drove him?
One of the more transparent passages regarding Paul’s faith journey is found in Philippians 3:7-16. Several familiar verses in this passage vividly portray the passion Paul had for following Jesus:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (3:8)
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (3:13-14)
These words reveal Paul’s insatiable drive to move in the direction of Jesus- to know him deeper and fuller every day. Paul’s motivation was Christ- everything else was in his rear-view mirror. May we possess the same defined direction in our lives.
- Talk about things in your past that had incredible importance, but are now inconsequential. What were the circumstances that led to this change?
- Who or what do you think contributed to creating the drive Paul had for following Christ? Do you think he was influenced more by internal or external factors?
- It is a common understanding that believers should desire a deeper relationship with Christ. How would you describe what this looks like practically in life? How can you tell when you’re growing closer to Jesus?