TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, October 31, 2017:
The act or the state of expecting; looking forward to; anticipation; a prospect of future benefit or fortune.
According to my earnest expectation and my 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 1:20.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In the verse above, Paul wrote to the church at Philippi that there was only one great expectation and hope that he lived for and that was to magnify Christ in his body. The words “earnest expectation” in the Greek means to gaze into the distance with the head erect and outstretched just like a watchman on a tower. It is aiming one’s attention at an object with concentration, eagerness, and intensity. It is the turning of one’s eyes away from everything else to focus upon one object alone.
Paul was in prison being falsely charged with the capital crime of sedition which carried with it the death penalty, when he wrote these words. Most prisoners in this situation would be hoping for a release from prison or at least have the death penalty reduced to a lesser punishment. But not Paul. His “earnest expectation and hope” was “to magnify Christ in his body.” His mind was not on his terrible circumstances but on Christ.
If you notice that in the verse above Paul refers to “by life or by death.” Paul was facing death in the natural but if he were to be executed, he wanted to be as faithful as ever and to magnify Christ in his death. But if he were declared to be innocent and set free, he wanted to continue to magnify Christ in his body -- by the way he walked and talked.
Paul knew that someday he was going to face the same thing as every other believer in Jesus would face, the judgement seat of Christ. He knew that he and every one of us believers would have to give an account for what we did while on this earth.
As a prisoner, still alive on this earth he wanted to guard his mind from wondering and questioning God. He also did not want to become discouraged or depressed, complacent or lethargic, inactive and undisciplined, denying and turning away from God or reacting negatively and cursing God.
Paul’s whole purpose in life was to speak out boldly for Christ and to become more like Him. Christ was Paul’s purpose for living but if by his death he could serve to magnify and exalt Christ more he was ready to die for Him.
As believers today, when we face trials in life, we need to trust as Paul did that God would be able to use it to magnify Jesus through us.
Paul loved Christ with all of his heart and did not want to stand before Christ and be ashamed. All of us need to stop and evaluate our lives and the things we do. Will we be ashamed when we stand before Jesus? Are we doing all we can to magnify Him?
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 14:5-6.
Thomas said to Jesus, Lord we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus answered by saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Help me to evaluate my life today and work on the issues that control me and brings shame to Jesus. Thank You for saving me from my sins so that I have the blessed expectation and hope of spending all eternity with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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