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There is a big difference between knowing about something and knowing through first-hand experience

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But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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.

 

If you’ve ever walked through a loss of a child, you “know” the depth of pain someone else is going through when they experience it for the first time. If you’ve experienced the horrors of hand-to-hand combat or the torture of being taking advantage of, you “know” what these situations feel like. On the flip side, if you’ve ever celebrated the joys of a new birth, a safe arrival home, or the rescue of a girl enslaved, you’ve truly experienced joy of deliverance, reunion and new life. There is a big difference between knowing about something and knowing through first-hand experience.

This is exactly what Paul means when he uses the Greek word “ginosko” or “knowing” in his letter. He’s not referring to the ability to know about Jesus, but the deep first-hand experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ his Lord. Paul would never be able to say he counts everything loss if he only knew about Jesus. No. Paul finds value in knowing Jesus because he experiences Jesus. Closely. Deeply. Intimately. He abides in Jesus just as Jesus invites his closest disciples to do in John 15.

You, too, have been invited to abide in Jesus and to experience his love. This doesn’t mean you have to feel Jesus’ love 24/7. Much like other relationships, your relationship with Jesus is not solely based on experience. But, it’s nothing less. If you desire to get to the place where you could say, like Paul, “for Jesus’ sake, I will suffer loss and count everything as garbage compared to being with Jesus,” you must be willing to experience him – to taste of his love and to deeply, genuinely and intimately encounter him. Today, imagine yourself sitting down at a dining table with Jesus. Let him speak the words of John 15:7-11 over you. Notice what happens in your heart and pray in response to your internal reaction.

 

If you abide in me,
and my words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.

By this my Father is glorified,
that you bear much fruit
and so prove to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you.
Abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments,
you will abide in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and abide in his love.
These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.
– John 15:7-11

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By Yvonne Biel 

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