Back to the Future - Day 4
I pray, God, for wisdom and guidance in your word. Help me see how I can become more like Christ in thoughts and actions so that I can honor you. Amen.
Read: Philippians 3:10-11, NIV
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
This passage, for me, called to mind something John the Baptist said towards the end of his ministry as he prepared the way for Jesus’ active ministry to begin. He said, “He must become greater; I must become less.” These words came to me because I know that to become like Christ, I must decrease and he must increase. In other words, we must die to self to take up Christ’s cause. Nothing has caused me to die to self more in my life experience so far than parenting. I’ve often compared bringing kids into this world and subsequently raising them to a refining fire. It burns away much of what we previously enjoyed - free time! warm coffee! sleep! - and replaces those things with an expansive love that runs deep. We give up temporal enjoyment for the long term joy of engaging in creation with God through parenthood. I believe God uses this type of experience to teach us about his heart for us and to help us become more like Christ. In the passage, Paul is talking about truly knowing Christ and having resurrection power. This is wholly different than being well versed in the bible or having answers to questions about scripture. He is speaking of a oneness with Christ and a kingdom mindset that infiltrates our thoughts and actions.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the doctrinal aspects of Christianity that we miss the divine experience of being in a covenant relationship with the creator of the universe. If you love to read and learn, as I do, it’s important to create space to commune with God outside of those pursuits. Spend time outdoors marveling at creation. Sit on the floor and interact with a child that is learning and soaking up life in every way. God gives us a multitude of opportunities to know him because we dwell in his good creation today.
God, thank you for your beautiful creation that is in and around us this very day. Thank you for the promise of restoration and new life in the coming kingdom of heaven. May my wonder never cease. Amen.