THE END IN HIMSELF
Thursday, August 31, 2017
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“… I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things…” Philippians 3:8

There are people who welcome Jesus into their lives as a stepping stone to forgiveness and going to heaven. Salvation is what they are seeking. Though salvation in Jesus Christ is wonderfully true, that is not the main objective of the Gospel. Others welcome Christ as a stepping stone to divine intervention as the only answer to a desperate situation. But Jesus is not a stepping stone to anything. He is the end in Himself.

The reward for welcoming Jesus into our lives is not being forgiven, not going to heaven and not divine intervention, but the reward is Jesus Himself. He does not come as a band aid in our time of need, but He comes to enter every aspect of our lives to be in us all that we need. God is not to be defined as a miracle working God as though that were His very nature, because He is also a non-miracle working God. Many people have made desperate pleas in times of illness, tragedy and loss, but there has been no miraculous intervention. We cannot blame God for the fact we are subject to all the perils of life, but we can experience His peace and His strength in the midst of them.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul’s life was one of constant hardship and persecution, but his goal for himself was Christ’s goal for Him. He says in verse 10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…” Sharing in Christ’s sufferings is not a statement of martyrdom, but one of humility and submission. Regardless of what is happening to Paul, his confidence was “Christ in him”, building and moulding him into His likeness. This is the goal of the Gospel.

Christ is Himself the end purpose of the Christian life, and His intent is that we come to personally know and experience Him. He said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). God has made Jesus Christ Lord, and when He is Lord of our lives and not just Saviour, we come to know Him, not in propositional facts, but experientially. Our lives will centre on Jesus, and He not only becomes all we need, the answer to every dilemma and hardship, but as God intended, He becomes our life… the end in Himself!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I cannot imagine a life without You. Help me to submit entirely to You and keep me humbled before You. You are my life! Thank You, Jesus!


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