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Oh good…you’re back for the second week of 3:10. I’m so glad! Let’s start with a refresher reading of last week’s verse.

“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” (Philippians 3:10 AMP).

Ironically, Philippians is known as an epistle, or letter, of thanksgiving. Did you know that our Apostle Paul authored this verse – in fact this entire book and three others – while imprisoned in Rome? Just trying to wrap my head around the reality of that fact leaves me convicted. This man has suffered unthinkable abuse during his career in evangelism. For preaching the Gospel of Jesus, he’s been beaten, left for dead, jailed on false charges, tried, shipwrecked. And now, arrested, imprisoned and facing what  of God. In all honesty, had I held the pen in that prison, my letter would probably have skipped a greeting altogether and gotten right to the issue at hand: “I’m cold, hungry and in desperate need of a pedicure and some moisturizer for sensitive skin. Round up the other churches and come get me.” My weak attempt at humor aside, the point is that in that prison where he could legitimately be comprising a wishlist of material needs and wants, Paul chooses instead to write a letter of thanks and encouragement to his fellow believers. To top it off, in his one moment of so-called “self-indulgence” – Philippians 3:10 – the plea for food, clothing and comfortable accommodations go unmentioned. Instead, his three desires are perception, recognition and an understanding of Jesus as a living person, supplier, and – I would submit – as a friend.
In the coming weeks, I plan to make a determined effort to dissect Paul’s three desires and glimpse what they would look like if applied to my life today. I hope you’ll join me so that together we can unravel this enigma of what’s required for us to really know Jesus as a person, as a friend.
Meanwhile, I’m trying my hand this week at establishing a practice that for me is inspired by Paul’s desires. For 30 minutes this week – small steps work best for me – I’m going to spend time with Jesus…about Jesus. No complaints, problems, requests…no me-oriented discussion coming from, well, me. All about Him.  You’re welcome, though not required, to try it as well. If you do, I’d love to share feedback.