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The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Devoted to Philippians.
Although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. (Philippians 3:4-6)
Today, I want to highlight Paul’s credentials. He was a proper Jew (of the tribe of Benjamin). He was even more: a ZEALOUS Jew. He was a pharisee, a sect that rigorously kept the law and all of the commands that had been added to the Law. He even persecuted the Church of Christ!
Folks, this guy was a rising star in Jewish circles. A member in good standing of the most righteous of the Jews: a Pharisee.
But, then he met Jesus face-to-face. “Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.'” (Acts 9:1-5)
While I have many times wished I could see Jesus face-to-face while still here on earth, I know that it’s not possible. And, even if it were, it would be a terrifying experience. For Jesus is now fully-glorified, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty! I’m not sure I really want that.
Paul got a lot more than he bargained for by persecuting the Church. We should pray that we never have to meet God is this way. God is our Savior, yes. But, He is still God. GOD! There is nothing more terrifying than to be in the presence of God.
I want it. But, then again, I don’t.
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