“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” ~Philippians 3:12
The holy Son of God came to this earth and put on your flesh and blood. He put on your humanity and he took on your sins. He became your sin for you. He lived here just like you so he could suffer and die for you. He gave up everything to save you and reconcile you back to God. He set aside his glory, his position, his power – he gave up everything because he loves you.
He did all of that for you. He loves you that much. Doesn’t that grab you?
If you’re just showing up at church on Sundays to sing the songs and say the ‘amens’ and eat and drink the Lord’s Supper and then you’re out the door and in your car and back home and nothing changes… If you come to church “just as I am” and you leave “just as you were” and nothing changes…
That is NOT the life Jesus died on the cross to give you. Christ Jesus did not leave his home in glory and die on Calvary to influence a couple of hours of your week. He gave himself to change your whole life. He died and lives now and forever to radically and dramatically alter every minute of every hour of your existence.
The love of Christ takes hold of you. It grabs you. It seizes you. It grips you and controls you. It squeezes you and shakes you and it will not let you go. So, yes, you want to know Christ. You want to become Christ-like. You want to be so much like Jesus that when a mosquito bites you, he flies away singing, “There is Power in the Blood!”
The love of Jesus rules us. It completely controls us. We’re held by his love like we’re in a vice. We can’t break free. So we don’t live for ourselves, we live for the Lord and for others. We conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. We consider others better than ourselves. We look to the interests of others. We work diligently to make our attitudes the same as that of Christ Jesus. We work out this salvation with fear and trembling, we demonstrate it, we make it real. And we recognize in all humility and gratitude that it is God who works in us, God who is shaping our will and renewing our minds, and transforming our image according to his good purpose.
Christ Jesus did not take hold of you so you could improve your golf game. Jesus did not take hold of you so you could buy a second home or win a soccer scholarship or become the president of your company. He took hold of you to transform you. He did it so you could live in a righteous relationship with him and in sacrificial service to others. His love for you compels you to take hold of it, too.