by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings (Phil. 3:10).
"Gaining Christ" or "knowing him" is the answer to our quest for salvation. Nobody will ever be right with God by noble birth, right upbringing, and hard work; only the work of Christ makes us right with God. By the same token, nobody needs to be hopeless because his birth was unwanted or her upbringing was bad. Parents are important but not decisive. Our lives begin when we know Christ.
"Knowing Christ" is more than learning our lessons about him. That comes first, of course. We learn that he died for our sins and lives to rule our lives. We believe that and thank him for his love. But "knowing Christ" is more. It is a covenantal love relationship, like a marriage.
Knowing Christ means not only that we acknowledge that we owe him our lives because he died to save us, but also that we desire "the power of his resurrection." That power is the new life, the Christlike life, given to us through the Spirit. We experience the new life when we share Christ's suffering.
The better we get to know Christ, the more we change. We lose the burdens that are so heavy on those who don't know him; but we receive new burdens of which the unsaved are ignorant. We are happy with what makes Jesus happy, and we weep about the things that make Jesus weep. We become familiar with the suffering of Christ.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version