Paul writes; "I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day. Therefore there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, and not for me only but for all those who love His appearing." [a paraphrase, by e.c.].
At His appearing, Christ says, "I never knew you; depart from me..." Contrast that with the words of Paul; "I know!..." Paul knew Jesus Christ and his friendship with his Saviour grew from the first flash of blinding light until he beloved apostle was served up as a sacrifice to Rome.
Friends talk often. Sometimes conversations are short, other times they are long, but friends talk often. Christ has said, "...I call you friends..." Imagine that! the Creator of all things that exist in all of the universe wants to be our friend. So much so that He became a man, lived His entire life only for others and then, to prove His love and His longing for our companionship, He gave up His life on the cross; all the while despising the humiliation and shame of the entire experience.
What was it that empowered Him to do these things? It was His ultimate goal of enjoying our companionship and friendship through all eternity.
Paul knew Jesus Christ. We can know Him as well; and without ever being blinded by light(actually most of us are already blind to His love) but by walking in the Light. Christ says, "I am the Light of the world. Whosoever comes to me I will in no wise turn away." [another paraphrase]
Decide today, while it is called, Today, to look to Christ and live.
God Bless. e.c.