September 25th 2010

Shift Of Focus

Lessons From The conversion Of Paul
Final of 4 studies

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”
Philippians 3:10 (NIV UK)

Paul went from wanting to destroy Jesus to wanting to know him.

It was a complete change, an about face. He had been convinced that he “ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth” and had cast his vote in favour of executing “the saints in prison” (Acts 26:9-10), but now he was ready to be sacrificed for the faith (Philippians 2:17). His previous way of life, that he once held dear, Paul considered as rubbish, as nothing “compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ” (3:8). Now he preached the Jesus whom he had denied.

The question has to be asked: what about us? Have we changed or do we resist still the Holy Spirit’s transforming of us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18)? Have we through the Spirit resolved, as Paul did, to “know nothing” “except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)?

Paul’s conversion was not just a cessation of his old ways and the death of his old self in Christ. It was also a change in personal direction and focus. His desire became to “live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20).

If God in his grace has revealed Jesus to you, and you haven’t changed your focus and re-directed your life towards him, it’s not too late.

Seek to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sharing in his sufferings.

Loving Father, help me, as you helped Paul, to count everything as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus your Son, and guide me through your Spirit to become more like Jesus and to refocus my life in him. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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