Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
To be with the Creator
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ”
What does it mean to be with someone? In a literal sense, it would mean sitting next to someone, for instance, sitting next to someone on the train or bus. On an emotional level could mean that you are in a relationship; or that you are a caretaker or guardian for someone and hence are physically near them. But what does it mean to be with the Creator, who is not necessarily present beside you physically, whose relationship to you is quite different than any other, and who is most certainly not under your guardianship, but rather is your guardian.
This is something that isn’t easy to answer, but on examining Paul’s words to the Philippian church above, Paul speaks of the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ, a value that convinces Paul, that all other things are “rubbish” and useless. Paul claims that knowing Jesus Christ allows him to be “found in Jesus Christ.” In other words, through knowledge of Christ, Paul is able to enter into the life of Christ and know Christ from within. Paul is able to articulate the means of entering into Christ—the righteousness based on faith. Before knowing or being with Christ, Paul was obsessed with the righteousness of the law. In the beginning of Philippians 3, Paul recounts his credentials. He was a Pharisee, a pure Hebrew from the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised timely on the 8th day, and so forth Nevertheless, with all those credentials, he could never be with Christ, no matter how close people thought he was to God. It was not until the light of Christ shone in his life that Paul understood what it took to be with the Creator. It was the righteousness that came from faith, that is, God making the sinner righteous when the sinner realizes that the grace of God has cleansed him/her and placing his/her faith in Jesus.
Another sign of being with the Creator that Paul demonstrates is the declaration of wanting the experiences of Christ. Paul says that having the righteousness of faith, “…I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and the sharing of his suffering by becoming like him in his death…” Being with Christ subjects us to living out the experiences of Christ in our day to day lives. We learn to live and react differently to various situations, which is akin to Christ’s resurrection. We learn to bear persecution and ridicule for our faith in Christ and in doing so, we come to share in his suffering by holding true to his name. And we learn the power of the resurrection continually as Christ lifts us from our defeat and continues his work in our lives.
Thus, to be with the Creator takes on a meaning of greater worth that any other person or thing one could possibly be with. It is a powerful experience that changes one from the inside out and causes them to understand how God views them, that is, through the righteousness of faith. Being with the Creator inspires one to pursue the life of Christ, and live out those experiences in one’s personal life with the ultimate goal of experiencing the resurrection from the dead as Christ did and never ending communion with the Lord.
Prayer: Lord help us to be with you in all our life situations. Amen.
Thought for the day: Nothing is greater than a life with Christ.
Benson Babu, Long Island M T C, NY.