“For I know this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.”

Philippians 1:19-20

When we truly love Him, we’ll try not to do or say anything to grieve His Holy Heart.

“In nothing ashamed.”

What a poignant, piercing desire of Paul.  Conceived in great conviction, the aged Apostle—writing from a Roman prison—so loved the Risen Lord that He wanted every thought, word and deed to be pleasing in His sight (II Cor. 10:5; Rom. 12:1-2).

And, so should we.

Too often we act or talk hastily. . .feel badly about it. . .shoot a little prayer of confession upwards. . .and then think nothing of it.  But, we should never forget confession is meaningless unless it’s accompanied by brokenhearted repentance.

Oh, the devil will whisper in our ear, “You’re such a miserable example of a Christian.  Why don’t you just quit trying?  Others can tell you’re a phony/hypocrite.  And, you know God’s disappointed in you.  Why don’t you just quit pretending?”

But, do not listen to this father of lies, dear Pilgrim.

Listen, instead, to the Voice of the Savior calling out to you even as He did to Peter and the disciples that morning after the Resurrection (Jn. 21:1-14).  Assuredly, we grieve Him by our thoughtless and unloving ways; however, He continues to pursue us and longs to develop within us a heart like His.

That’s why Paul said “I know this (all that was happening to him in prison and in Philippi) shall turn (contribute to) my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”  Basically, he was restating what he said to the Christians in Rome:  “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord, who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Thus, we should always step away from the immediate situation and look at the “Big Picture” of eternity.  What we’re going through right now won’t matter in 100 years as far as our remembrance of them; however, they will matter in others’ lives and God’s Kingdom Work when we’ve been faithful in pointing others to Christ.

Paul wasn’t worried about his suffering being for naught.  Like the patriarch Joseph, He knew the Heavenly Father does all things well and “according to his earnest expectation (intense anticipation) and hope, in nothing he’d be ashamed when he finally stood before the One Who’d changed his life.”  And, he also prayed that he’d finished as he’d started—i.e., “that with all boldness (Grk. ‘parrhesia’—‘outspokenness, frankness, confident assurance, etc.’) Christ would be magnified (Grk. ‘megaluno’—‘made great, extolled, increased, etc.’) both in his life and even in his death.”  Glory!!  May this also be our Magnificent Obsession!!

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 18, 2009

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