What The Heck Does “Chief of The Least” Mean?

The apostle Paul never appreciated the suped up title of “super-apostle.” That doesn’t stop us from putting him on that pedestal today. But if we read the NT carefully it’s plainly apparent:

Paul wasn’t all that impressed with himself

We praise him for his perseverance in mind-boggling persecution: stoned, five times whipped, shipwrecked thrice, beaten and imprisoned mercilessly and more (2 Cor 11:23-29). Paul said it wasn’t his true grit, but Christ alone who strengthened him in these things (Phil 4:11-13)

We hold studies searching for the nature of Paul’s notorious “thorn in the flesh.” Was it poor eyesight? Ugly face? Lingering torture wounds? Celibate life? Bad case of hemorrhoids? Paul didn’t point to the nature of the thorn, but rather the nature of sufficient grace was the focal point of the story (2 Cor 12:9).

Some pastors call Paul the most brilliant Christian mind in the church era. He had the modern equivalent of three Ph. Ds and oratorical powers that made peasants in Lystra call him a Roman god (Acts 14:12). Paul calls all of his extensive formal educational training a big steaming “pile of s—” (literally in the Greek) compared to the knowledge of Christ (Philippians 3:8).

What Spiritual Progress is For a Chief

We shouldn’t be surprised when Paul turns our view of Christian maturity on its head.

Indian Chief
Not that kind of Chief, guys.

We hope maturity in faith and sanctification would mean grappling less with the pet sins and shortcomings that rack our conscience daily. It may mean some of that. “Progress” is a nice clean catchword for politics and spirituality. But watch how Paul views progress in his Christian walk (Chief of the Least comes in here):

In the beginning of Paul’s ministry he called himself (1 Cor 15:9)

“the least of the apostles”

The least of the small select group of New Covenant Church founders. In the middle of Paul’s ministry, he called himself (Eph 3:8):

“the least of the saints.”

The least member of the growing New Covenant Church. In the end of Paul’s ministry, in his letter to his spiritual son Timothy, he called himself (1 Tim 1:15):

“Chief of Sinners”

The guiltiest and greatest sinner in the Whole. Wide. World.

This is what progress in holiness looks like: As we mature in our faith we become more humble and more broken over the sin still latent within us. As we realize we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies our faces are brought lower than dirt in servant gratitude. Paul wasn’t the greatest sinner in the world compared to other Roman dictators and miscreants.

True.

Paul was convinced He was the greatest sinner because he was in a prime position to be more aware of his own sin than others. One of the greatest works of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to us the depths of our own sin, not the sins of others.

So we find true progress to be an ever growing cyclical progress in brokenness. In humility. In gratitude.

In more brokenness.

In more humility.

In more gratitude.

A greater awareness of our sin brings an even greater awareness of the gospel that killed its grip in the person of Jesus Christ. “Chief of the Least” is a merging of Paul’s self titles.

I’m applying it to me.

But it is not just for me; It’s for anyone acutely aware of their broken estate on one hand, yet caught up in greater grateful flood for the Savior that utterly repairs and restores it on the other.

We fellow “Chiefs” adhere to this simple lifelong confession:

Yes, I am a great sinner. But I have a much greater Savior in Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Bryan Daniels

Jesus Transforms, Not Flowers

“At many Reformed churches, the particulars of Reformed theology overshadow the cross. The assumption seems to be that if you can master the particulars of TULIP, and are devoted to 1, 2, and 3 John (John Calvin, John Piper, and John MacArthur), then you are spiritually acceptable and everything will be right in your life. Right doctrine is essential, but no “doctrinal flower” can transform your heart. Only the beauty of Jesus transforms the heart.” (JD Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary)

This Reformed minded dude says, “Amen!” to that!

Bryan Daniels

The Beautiful Death of American Gospels

I remember Juan.

He was a retired Puerto Rican doctor in his seventies who spent his retirement pouring out his life for the people in the slums of Caguas. His mission house fed the poor a warm lunch everyday and provided free healthcare to the community. He worked like a young man in his prime when he wielded a machete to clear the land for a new mission down the road. He greeted virtual strangers with a smile, a hug, and maybe even a kiss on the cheek.

When asked how much money he needed for repairs on the mission house, Juan beseeched our group,

“You Americans always send money and think that is the cure. We don’t need money, we need missionaries!”

I remember Peter.

He was a middle aged Romanian man who served the youth in one of the few Protestant churches in Timişoara. We stood on a Romanian hillside overlooking the retreat building our group was staying at for the week. Peter beamed with pride as he testified about the building: twenty years ago this was a Communist schoolhouse built to indoctrinate children in name of Marxism. Now it is a Christian camp center dedicated to love children in the name of Jesus Christ.

At the end of our last service at the camp, our American group decided to wash the feet of the Romanian children and adult workers (John 13). One woman, a kitchen helper and parent of a youth, wept uncontrollably as she had her feet washed. When asked what she was so moved by, she said:

“You being Americans, wash our feet!”

I was touched.

And part of me grieved.

Why would Americans be on an undeserving pedestal in this woman’s mind?imagesCAXMI4QO

I wondered what influence the “American” gospel had on her. Even third world countries are reached by the satellite tentacles of TBN, Daystar, 700 Club, etc. How is a malnourished Indian kid who eats dirt brownies supposed to process a purple haired lady sitting on a golden throne asking for money?

How is a poor Haitian boy who witnessed his parents die after a sudden earthquake supposed to process a rich old white man who says God judged his nation because of its religious history?

Was it even the prosperity gospel the Romanian lady heard?

Or was it the gospel of American pride/nationalism even some of my Baptist brethren preached?

Our American heritage said we were a city set on hill, their heritage said they were a Slumdog languishing in the valley.

What she needed to hear was this: She was a precious child of God, a beloved bride, a chosen saint in a Kingdom without end. Everyone in that room was on equal footing; we were all crippled by our sin until God stooped down to us in Christ and lifted us up.

We weren’t Romanian brethren and American brethren. We were brothers and sisters, period. Blood bought adopted kids with the same Father. We were joined with an unbreakable bond that transcended culture or language.

Though our pasts are diversified, our future will be unified in one glorious end. This will be the utter death of all our pet gospels:

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9)

Amen.

Bryan Daniels

How Lance Armstrong Taught Me I Was A Dirtbag

I heard on the radio this morning Lance Armstrong is preparing to come clean (kinda).

I must confess, I’ve never cared for the public image the cycler portrayed. He seemed cocky, seemed like a womanizer, and even seemed to over-state his battle with cancer for publicity purposes. I remember the interview after one post cancer Tour De France victory where the reporter asked if Armstrong thought his rousing success was a miracle of God.

Armstrong’s (paraphrased) response: “This wasn’t God, this was me.”lance armstrong

After lying about doping for years and hiding behind his foundation under the guise of righteousness, a revealing light has come out against Armstrong in the testimony of a great cloud of witnesses. In the past ten years some of these hapless victims Armstrong has taken to court, publicly slandered, privately bullied, and viciously squeezed every last penny out of their reputation in humiliating fashion.

Their crime: Telling the truth about Armstrong’s cycling legacy.

What a dirtbag! was the first bitter thought on my ride into work.

But as I brooded over the injustices I heard, a chord struck me at the soul level:

Lance Armstrong is a broken soul that needs grace at least as much as I do.

He is in the same perilous boat we are all by nature in:

Dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:1).

Enemies of God (Romans 5:10).

Children of Wrath (Eph 2:3).  

Natural rebels against a high and Holy King.

Armstrong may not see it that way, but God forbid I withhold grace from a soul who clearly needs it. Because in the end, I likewise am a soul who clearly needs it. If true, Armstrong’s wrongs against humanity are real and demand repentance. But they are no worse than my daily crimes of neglect and brattiness against a Father who has called me His child through the blood of His dear Son.

The main difference between Lance Armstrong and Bryan Daniels? If I have experienced this dynamic grace in the person of Jesus like I claim to, I should know better.

So this morning, by the grace of God, my pretentious self-righteous anger turned into mercy filled intercessory prayer for Armstrong.

I pray his lasting mark on earth won’t be a yellow Livestrong bracelet, but the bloody red embrace of strong love found at the foot of cross and empty tomb. I pray he sees there is a far better race to run and prize to win in this life, and he will never win it without the grace of a Father being lavished on him.

And I thank God for His free impartial intervening grace to fallen undeserving men; even dirt bags like me and Lance Armstrong.

Bryan Daniels

Pretty Much My Exhaustive View On The End Times….

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Bryan Daniels

A Resolution That Can Never Be Broken….Ever.

Tis the season to make half-hearted resolutions to Hollywood Diets and 90 Day workout programs!

As we embark on a fresh New Year, a chance to call “Do Over!”, and an opportunity to rededicate, we may need to pause a bit before the ball drops and the confetti cleanup ensues.

In my opinion:

The gist of our modern Christianity is akin to a perpetual New Year’s Resolution.

Behavior modification dominates much preaching and teaching in the church. The thrust of so many Christian messages is about doing stuff: Pray longer, Give more money, Witness more, Invite a friend, get an accountability partner, help the poor, get a quiet time, become a leader…Try harder to be a better husband, employee/employer, father, citizen, dog owner, etc. etc. etc.

Do do do, go go go, try try try….and we reduce the beauty of the gospel mission to a Nike commercial.

We have such a propensity to work-related righteousness and commitments we may forget that Christ has made a resolution to us that will never be broken:

In Christ, God has resolved to love us with an eternal commitment. This resolution was not built on the sifting sand of human will but was signed, sealed, and delivered by the blood of His own dear Son before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:13). This commitment to us isn’t just for the New Year, it is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).

The basics of the gospel blows away the minds of mighty angels  (1 Peter 1:12). The blazing seraphim near the throne and Michael the sword-wielding warrior can’t comprehend why such a holy King would condescend to love such weak sinful men. We treat the gospel like a trite prayer tacked on the end of a sermon, or a kiddie pool we have to enter to go on to deeper spiritual waters. The Gospel, which reveals the glory of God in Jesus Christ, is the deepest thing in all the world(s).

Angels aren’t impressed by our great exploits for God, they’re impressed by God’s great exploits for us in the gospel.

The gospel tells us that there is nothing we can ever do to make God love us more than He does right now. It tells us there is nothing we can ever do to make God love us less than He does right now. Over 170 times in the NT the term “in Christ” is used to connote those who have been apprehended by God’s grace. God loves His Son with an unbroken perfect love and if we are IN CHRIST, God must love us in the SAME EXACT WAY (John 17:26).

We bring nothing to the table and yet are given everything.

No wonder angels are so perplexed.

Why would God love fallen broken humanity in the same way He loves His spotless precious obedient Son?

Why would God make a once and for all resolution to such disobedient despondent wretches?

This New Year may we look to Christ and His commitment to us in the gospel with angel-like longing, and may it birth heaven-like worship in our hearts. Let’s resolve to be captivated by God’s curious resolution to love us, in 2013 and forevermore.

Peace and grace this new year.

Bryan Daniels

Let The Gospel Lion Defend Himself (Spurgeon)

A great many learned men are defending the gospel; no doubt it is a very proper and right thing to do, yet I always notice that, when there are most books of that kind, it is because the gospel itself is not being preached. Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out!

I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of
himself; and the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out.

CH Spurgeon

The Once and For All Death Of A Universe Maker

He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:3)

Sometimes the question is proposed concerning the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ: “How can one man’s sacrifice cover the sins of every man and woman who ever lived? That’s impossible.”

And yes, if it was a mere man who sacrificed, it would indeed be an impossible task for his blood to effectively cover the sins of many worldwide.

But Scripture doesn’t count Jesus Christ as just any Tom, Dick, or Josephus.

After claiming Jesus the Final Prophet, or the final Living Word through His life and ministry (Hebrews 1:1-2), the author of Hebrews intimates what manner of man this Lord of glory is:

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and exact imprint of His nature” (Heb 1:3)

He is Radiance of the Father’s Glory. You want know the glory of God? You want to see the face of God? Look unto Jesus (2 Cor. 4:4,6) He is the manifest radiance –streaming out of Him-of God. When I say my wife is radiant, people know what I mean. I am speaking about her physical beauty, but not just her outward beauty; there is an inward character that makes her whole being “radiant” to me.

Christ is God’s manifest beauty, His light.

Christ is no mere mortal, He is the definitive and full representation of Yahweh. The wording “exact imprint” is from the Greek word “charakter,” meaning the very essence of God. The Father and Son share identity. And it is the Son who “upholds all thing by His word.” Every molecule in our body and every law in the universe is kept, preserved, and sustained by the current word of this Christ. Christ is the only reason our bodies don’t collapse like accordions under the weight of gravity.

The value and glory of the son of God (the universe sustainer) makes him laying down His life so much greater.

Verse 2 also claims He created all things. Jesus has creation rights over the whole natural world. And He doesn’t sit back idly like a Deistic unaffected clock maker. He created and then He entered into that creation. Jesus Christ wrote the screenplay. Then He inexplicably wrote Himself into the screenplay. He even outlined and reserved the most tragic excruciating role for Himself  (Isaiah 53).

God is not an absentee Father or busy Taskmaker, He burns with the same passions Jesus burns with in the Gospels. No wonder Jesus says “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 10)

Jesus is a chip off the old block.

But why would this glorious One stoop so low?

Sin.

Drastic problems call for drastic measures.

This is the universal grip of death, tragedy, heartache, and evil (Romans 3:23) Look at even the smallest children. There is an innocence there but there is also a latent sin nature. I didn’t have to teach my two year old son to deceive.

“Josiah, did you eat the cookie I left on the table?”

With chocolate smeared in the corner of his mouth: “Noooo.”

Though some people get better at hiding this nature as adults, it doesn’t go away.

And God hates this sin. “God is love” is the oft quoted verse of our time, and that is so true. Yet God hates sin. The cross displays both of those realities perfectly. God’s love for us is emanating out from cross. God’s hatred for sin is being poured out onto Jesus during the cross. God hates sin and that’s why He had to pour out his wrath. (Isaiah 53:11) “It pleased God to crush Him. ….”

After making purification.  It was a “Once for all” sacrifice as Hebrews points out numerous times. Jesus is not just Creator and Sustainer. Jesus is our personal High Priest. Our Go-between.

In the Old Testament the high priest had to enter once a year into the Holy of Holies to kill an animal on behalf of the people’s sins. Yet this priest was also sinner. This OT act was a shadow of the reality to come in Christ. Christ entered to the heavenly Holies once and for all (Hebrews 9:24). Yet He didn’t kill a scapegoat. Shockingly, He turned the knife on Himself. And the blameless blood that spilled out was perfect, holy and able to purify a people forevermore before God.

“Once and for all”, means for all our sins. Those past, present, and future transgressions. And Hebrews 7:25 says this same sympathetic High Priest “lives to make intercession” for us. He didn’t resurrect and ascend to just sit on His comfortable throne and eat celestial grapes. He’s a living advocate before the Holy Father right now. For the sin we committed last night. For the sin we commit tonight. For the sin we may commit on our deathbed 50 years from now.

Jesus Christ utterly blotted them out. “It is finished!” so He continually pleads His righteous blood and finished work before the Father on our behalf.

So:

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Heb 4:16;

Indeed.

This is no mere man.

Such incomprehensible power.

Such unconditional love.

Such sustaining grace for the now.

Bryan Daniels

Run This Gospel Race Like You Stole Something

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24)

I coach the boys track team for the high school I work at (despite being a chubby white dude who only runs to the refrigerator). Other than extremely long meet days, it is a relatively easy sport to coach with short practices and straight forward workouts.

Even at the high school level, students must be self motivated and focused to reap any success in competitions.

I’m always a bit amazed (and perturbed) at the disparity of work ethic in seemingly identical athletes. Sprinters, jumpers or distance runners with the same genetic hand, background, and coaching can yield very different results because of one thing:

Discipline.

Some of my lazier athletes are quite shocked when they go up against another more focused athlete during competition and get flat-out smoked. I wonder:

What did you expect with no effort or discipline during training?!

Some get it now and succeed. Others will get it later in life when circumstances force them to.

But honestly, I have more in common with my lazier athletes than what I would like to admit. Spiritually speaking.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 cuts my non chalant approach to many spiritual matters at the knees.

Paul lived in a day when athletics dominated Greek society. The much-lauded Olympic games were right down the road. Every third year in Corinth, the Corinthians had the Isthmian Games where athletes competed on a more local level. Sometimes the stakes feel even higher when you’re competing in local rivalries. In order to get into the finals at the Isthmian games athletes had to give proof of ten months of training, and the last 30 days before the actual event they all came into the community to partake in intense highly scrutinized daily training.

Only after that preparation were athletes eligible to run. And if they ran and won the victor was awarded a pine wreath crown (along with being immortalized).

These ancient men worked tirelessly for months and years for a crown of weeds that would wither in weeks.

The Prize That Lasts

The context of the verse shows the great prize Paul speaks of is not our own salvation (we could never earn that), rather it is preaching the gospel and seeing men drawn to Christ (9:18, 22). Running is analagous to preaching/sharing the gospel. Paul says in effect: I want to see men won to Christ so I will run (read “preach”) as hard and as diligently as it takes for me to win that prize.

But see the preparation period in this type of preaching. During pre-season, I ran one 100 yard sprint with my team during a workout. I subsequently pulled a hammie in the process. For a couple days, I ended up limping like Jacob did after rasslin’ with God.

Why?

I hadn’t, in the most basic fundamental level, prepared my body for such physical exertion.

There is a crucible every gospel preacher should pass before attempting to set the world on fire. There is no benefit in sprinting ahead of the Holy Spirit when God tells you to sit and be still for a while. Praying, studying and repenting over the God breathed word is not a task taken lightly.

If you do take such weighty preparation lightly, you just may herniate a disc in your spiritual backbone. 

Beating Your Own Body Like A Rented Mule

The language used in this passage is pervasive: The apostle “threw down” in a fisticuff rage with his own sinful flesh on a daily basis (1 Cor 9:27).

By the grace of God, we must first conquer the formidable enemy within, before attempting to conquer the supposed enemy out there.

The weapons of our warfare work on our own flesh too. Intercessory prayer, the testimony of Scriptures, and the blood of the Lamb are too great of foes for any latent sin remaining in us. Paul used these to make his body his own slave instead of being a slave to his fallen fleshly desires (v 27).

We (I) desperately need such spiritual discipline.

The stakes are eternally high.

The prize is eternally worth it.

Bryan Daniels

The Intimacy of Eternal Life-You Get Christ, Not Earthworm Jim

{A newly edited retread from the late great blog “Enabled by God.” May she RIP}

Eternal life is scary.

At least it was to me as a child. Every time I pondered for any amount of time about being somewhere forever, an incredible aching formed in the pit of my stomach. An aching that would persist to the point of either nausea or panic attack, until I drove all thoughts of immortality out of my mind for the moment. I understood heaven was preferable to hell as far as eternity went, but I couldn’t fathom being anywhere for forever, no matter how celestially blissful it may be. Even Earthworm Jim got old after you’ve beaten it for the seventeenth time, right? According to my concept of heaven, after a couple of years the monotony would be mind-boggling.

We get to run on streets of gold. But then what? We get to swing on gates of pearl. But then what? We get to hang out with our deceased grandparents, Moses, and maybe one of the band members from Creed. But then what? It all seemed a bit…..boring after awhile. As an atheist coworker told me recently, “I don’t want to imagine being anywhere forever. I’d die of boredom being in one place forever. Especially if there are no dogs there.” Chubby little nine year old Bryan would have wholeheartedly concurred with that statement (especially the dog part, which I don’t even think is true).

This gripping sentiment of fear was held way before I came to the realization that eternal life was Christological and God centered; and nothing like anything I knew on earth (Revelation 1:1). In a word, the prospect of eternal life was frightfully boring to me before I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. After that happened, I learned eternal life did not primarily consist of an infinite quantity of time, but an intimate quality of relationship.

It was Jesus Christ Himself who graciously gave me a wholly adequate solution to my childhood dilemma in (John 17:3):

“This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God and the Son whom you have sent”

Here I found Christ never meant for us to be enamored with streets of gold, seas of crystal, or gates of pearl; He wanted us to be enamored with Him.  A heaven of harps and cloud loitering satisfies not, but one vision of His blazing grandeur and glories will enrapture us for an eternity (Hebrews 1).

What Christ says about eternal life in his John 17 High Priestly Prayer would be altogether shocking and ludicrous to the passive bystander of His day. This is an average Jewish carpenter with no political clout, no royal entourage, and nowhere to even lay his head. And to his concerned disciples he gives this sure promise hours before He dies on an excruciating cross:

“After this, you will get to know my Father and me forever.”

The Islamic Extremist gets 72 virgins. The Hindu gets a better cultural status next time around. The cultist gets his own world and god-like state. The prosperity propagator gets his best life now and maybe a private jet. But Christ makes all of those false promises burn in the light of this one profoundly simple assurance:

“You get Me.”

“You get to know Me.” Clearly, this is a ridiculously audacious promise if we are talking about a mere Jewish man.

The greek word for “know” here is ginōskō, which is translated in three primary tenses:

1) to learn to know, come to know, get knowledge of perceive, feel

2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of

3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman

To “know” God, in its fullest biblical sense holds much more weight than an introductory understanding of bible stories or an intellectual assent to a few orthodox doctrines.

We are called to an intimate knowledge of God, so much so the word is used interchangeably in Scripture with the way only a husband could physically “know” his wife.  You know, the way Joseph didn’t know Mary before Jesus was born? (Mat 1:25)  We are given the same type of relational status only it is eternally deeper than that of human marriage. This is a spiritual relational intimacy a holy God has granted us through Christ from the foundation of the world. This union is not only for super apostles and church leaders, it’s for any who belong to the bride of Christ. It belongs to all who are being washed in the water of God’s word. (Eph 5:25-28)

Paul called the heart of the gospel the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor 4:4-6) You can find the glory of God in many places: Lightning storms, mountaintops and holding your first-born for the first time. But Paul says the highest point of the glory of God rests in knowing and beholding Christ Himself, His face, His person, and His work at the cross and resurrection.

Paul also called everything else a four letter word (in the original Greek) compared to the surpassing worth of the knowledge of Christ. (Philippians 3:8) That’s because Christ is the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:17), who upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3), who sits on an unrivaled  throne as King of the universe (Isaiah 6:1), in charge of angel armies (Heb 1:7), with eyes blazing with fiery holiness (Rev 1:14), a voice that thunders like crashing waterfalls (Rev 1:15), who made all things as all things were made for Him (Col 1:16), and will righteously judge the living and the dead at the end of time (Revelation 19:11). And this all culminates at the cross, where He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world for our sins (Rev 13:8).

Indeed, this is no mere Jewish carpenter.

Through Him we are called children and heirs of God (Rom 8:16-17). That means we get God; we are afforded the incomprehensible privilege of knowing this God through Christ. This is what we received when we received the gospel, and it all happened at the point of our conversion. Which means eternal life doesn’t begin when we die, eternal life begins when we come to know Christ. Eternal life isn’t just then and there, but it is a here and now reality for those who are in Christ.

In Christ alone, the glory of God is made manifest to us. In Christ alone, the blazing holiness of God is made tolerable and accessible to us. In Christ alone, the righteous Judge has become a righteous Father. In Christ alone, we can know God and not just know things about Him in a second-hand way.

In the life to come, we will be eagerly chasing down the unsearchable riches of His excellencies; and after an eternity we will not have even reached the foothills of the majesty of King Jesus and His kingdom.

Better than wealth, health, fame, sex, food, relationships, toys, self-esteem and all the glory of the world combined.

You get Christ.

Bryan Daniels