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To Live is Christ

In Paul's letter to the Philippians, he demonstrates a selfless faith in Christ that is so zealous, so dedicated, so fearless, that I can't help but be a little . . . awed.

I mean, the guy's in prison—in literal bonds for the Gospel—put there by those who have no desire to hear what he has to share. If anyone has the grounds to shy away from speaking out, he has certainly faced enough persecution to qualify. And yet, Paul takes just the opposite approach. He declares, "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 death" (Philippians 1:20).

Interestingly, a friend spoke today on the power of the truth, of being bold and unashamed to stand for Christ in a world that just doesn't want to hear it. That was Paul's message as well, a message of the hope we have in Christ, a hope that drives us to shine for him boldly and shamelessly in this dark world. Through us, Christ can be magnified, but only if we're bold enough to let him use us freely.

But wait—there's more.

Paul goes on to pen the words that convict me to my core:

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ~Philippians 1:21

Not only was Paul willing to die for the Lord, but he recognized death as a victory. In Christ, the grave had no power over him, and in fact, death was merely a bridge that would take him directly into the holy presence of the very One he adored. We think of death as loss, but for Paul, it was the ultimate gain. The final summit of his lifelong efforts: an eternity in the presence of God.

This week, let's be bold, unashamed, driven by earnest expectation and hope, magnifying Christ every moment of life, and ready and willing to face the gain of death in Jesus' name.

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