In this section, Paul describes a great transformation that has taken place in him. He used to take great pride in his resume as a Jew (Phil 3:4-6), yet “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ”(Phil 3:7). Paul has found something so much better than glorifying himself and it has led him to devote his whole life to pursuing it. “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 and be found in him”(Phil 3:8-9). Paul has done the math and knowing Jesus is worth more than great personal accomplishments.
Now Paul’s burning desire is “that I may know him and the power of resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead”(Phil 3:10-11). Knowing him means surrendering my own efforts at perfection (Phil 3:9). Knowing him means suffering like him—and even dying like him—so that I can be raised like him. So now Paul goes forward: “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”(Phil 3:13-14). This pursuit has taken over his life. It is now the “one thing” he does. He wants to know Jesus because that pursuit does not end until he rests with him in eternity.
Paul’s passion burns through the page. Something has captured his heart and caused him to rearrange his life. He preaches and lives and works and writes the way he does because he most of all wants to know Jesus until he is called to be with him.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Is knowing Jesus my burning desire?
One Thing to Pray For: Courage to surrender everything to seek after Jesus