The author of the epistle to the Philippians, Paul, was a prisoner in a roman jail. God uses Paul in this condition to inspire him to pen this letter. While the circumstances of Paul are frustrating and sad, we see a very different tone in his letter. Philippians 1:19-26 shows us the mind that Paul is in concerning his circumstance.
Paul is in prison. He has no idea what they will do with him next. Will he die a martyr or will he be set free? In either case, he has one desire – to honor Christ in his body! He says that in life or death he wants to honor Christ in his physical body. The letter to the Hebrews talks about presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to God. I think Paul here is presenting his body as a living sacrifice to God. In live and in death he wants Christ to be honored.
Most of us professing/practicing Christians talk about living for Christ. There are so few people who talk about being ready to die for Christ. We are stuck in our daily routine and never step out with the gospel for we fear being ridiculed, we fear being rejected, we fear being beaten and we fear death! Yes, most people are not really sure about dying for the honor of Christ. We do all things that in every way me may be accepted by everyone. Paul writes that he attempts in every way to reach out to everyone that he might save some.
Life or death for a Christian should mean just one thing – honoring Christ. We should be able to say “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. The lives we live on earth should be purpose driven. We should be consumed with the purpose of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone. And when we die it should be for Jesus.
I pray that God molds us and shapes us to become people who not only want to live for Christ but are also willing to die for Christ.
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