Pastor Greg is teaching a seven-part Wednesday night series on the seven core values of our church and all of his life ministry.
This week is Core Value #2: Intimacy With God
Refers to Thoughts, Beliefs, Opinions, Core Values
Harmony, Cooperation, Collaboration, Unity, Teamwork. It seeks the harmony of bringing people to an agreement. It seeks a spirit of cooperation or collaboration. It’s all about an experience of unity and teamwork.
Mana’o Lōkahi: Shared core values that we can have as brothers and sisters in Christ and especially as we function here as Waikoloa Community Church.
Intimacy With God
True life, abundant life, eternal life …. it all starts here. It’s why we exist as human beings and it is why we exist as a community church. We want to lead people into a transformational relationship with God. At the end of each day, as your pastor, friend and brother in Christ, I just want you to feel like you know God a little bit better and you love God a little bit more. If those two things have happened, then regardless of what else went right or wrong that day, that day was a success. Do I know God a little bit better and love God a little bit more than I did yesterday? Then today was a good day! On the other hand, if you had the greatest day of your life, in terms of money, success, fame, knowledge, recognition, human acclaim, but at the end of the day you don’t know God a little bit better and you don’t love God a little bit more? Then that day was, ultimately, a failure. It doesn’t count for anything on the scale of eternity.
INTIMACY: To know someone intimately means to know them fully and to be fully known by them.
The greatest relationships, the ones that stand the test of time are the ones built on the greatest levels of intimacy, transparency, honesty, openness.
God doesn’t want you to just KNOW ABOUT Him, God wants you to ACTUALLY KNOW Him.
He wants your RELATIONSHIP not just your RELIGION!
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more… ~ Philippians 3:4b (Paul the Apostle)
Then, Paul lists his pedigree.
(I had it all. I was politically connected. I was a star on the rise. All that stuff others put so much stock and faith in, my background puts theirs to shame. Nobody can outdo me on the uppity background scale. I was the king of the Yuppies. I went to the Harvard of my day. I was the Kennedy family of my day. Then he says, but here’s what I think of my exceptional background now.)
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” – Philippians 3:7 (NIV)
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” – Philippians 3:8 (NIV)
Rubbish – Animal Excrement –a crude term that means “dog crap.”
and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” – Philippians 3:9(NIV)
Paul wants intimacy with God.
I want to know Christ… – Philippians 3:10a
I want to know Christ” becomes. “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly],” – Philippians 3:10a (Amplified)
I wonder, is that the desire of your heart tonight? Are you longing to progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him? Do you want to perceive and recognize and understand the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly? Or do you just want to attend church? Do you just want to go through the motions? Do what good folk are supposed to do, go to church once in awhile? Do you attend worship or do you worship?
It literally means to bow, to fall to our knees at someone’s feet and to “kiss toward …” someone.
So when we say we worship God, literally, we are saying we bow and blow kisses towards him. It is a relationship action of intimacy and familiarity.
In our interactions with other human beings, we know intuitively that you don’t ask for favors until you’ve established a level of trust and intimate relationship. Yet that’s what so many people do with God. Before they have taken any time, before they have invested any energy into building a relationship with God, they immediately jump to this very discourteous mode of favor asking. If you have any class at all, your prayer life will be dead and boring if you don’t have a relationship with God, because you know intuitively that it’s not courteous to ask for things when you haven’t established a relationship.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, – Philippians 3:10 (NIV)
A lot of people come to church, thinking, “I’ll take Jesus IF…” (Everything goes the way I want it to in life.)
The Biblical Gospel has never been about “I’ll take Jesus IF … .” The Biblical Gospel has always been about “I’ll take Jesus EVEN IF … .” That’s what Paul is describing here. An intimate relationship with Jesus where nothing else matters.
… that I may … share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” ~ Philippians 3:10-11
Paul was so consumed with truly knowing Christ, that when he discovered that suffering would actually draw him closer to Christ, he said: I WANT to experience suffering —because I want Jesus. I want Jesus more than anything! If the best way to get closer to Jesus today is to experience some pain, some suffering, some loss in my life, even my death, then bring it on!