Read Philippians 1:19-26
What does it mean to be “in Christ” or to “live is Christ”!! Those are probably some of the most profound words we can say!
Theologians have often called this “union with Christ”. This being “in Christ” involves both our position (justification) and our progress (sanctification).
While our position and standing are secure, our knowledge and experience of Christ’s presence in our lives may at times fluctuate. Although secure in our standing, we are prone to wander. Our heart is deceitful. We are easily distracted. That is why God gives us Scriptures that call us to experience Him more deeply in our lives.
Read John 15:5
Read James 4:8
In verses 19-26, Paul focuses on himself and his internal struggle with the prospect of death along with his sincere desire to continue to minister for the gospel.
Here we see FOUR very clear desires of Paul’s heart.
We will explore the first two today, and the second two tomorrow.
First of all, in verse 19, Paul desperately depends on the Philippians’ prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit for his deliverance. He wants to get out of prison. And he is counting on their prayers as God’s ordained means to get him out quickly!
Have you ever wondered how your individual prayers are used by the Holy Spirit to impact the life of another? What is the connection between the Holy Spirit and prayer?
It’s a mystery. Why do we pray if God has it all figured out in His sovereignty? Why pray if we cannot change God’s mind anway?
While these are theologically accurate statements, in and of themselves they are incomplete. Does God have all things figured out? Absolutely. Can we change God’s mind? Absolutely NOT. So then why pray?
Have you ever thought that God’s ordained means to bring about His answers to our prayers is through our actual praying? We don’t change God’s mind, but we draw closer in intimacy to Him and begin to align our hearts and wills with His heart and will. God already knows what we need before we asks, so were’ not giving God any information that is He is clueless about when we pray. When we pray, we are drawing closer in intimacy with Him.
As we move forward as a church in advancing the gospel and in trusing God for His provision, praying for one aonther is crucial. We need the help of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of each other to make it in this life.
Are you diligently praying for others? Are you relying on the power of the Holy Spirit?
Secondly, we see that Paul has a desire that Christ would be exalted in his body in verse 20. The word “exalted” in the original language mean “to make look great.”
Paul is saying that in his living or in his dying (however that may come—through natural death or martyrdom)—in all things through the way he lives; he wants Christ to look great. Mega great!!
And living a life worthy of the gospel means that our lives are making Jesus look great when we live in a way that exalts His death, burial, and resurrection and draws attention to His Person and work.
What are some specific ways that your life can make Jesus look GREAT!!!
We often don’t like to think about death and dying, but it is an inevitable reality. Even in his death, Paul wanted to make Christ look great. While this may be a morbid thought, how can you be prepared now to make Christ look great in your own death?
What legacy do you want to leave behind to your loved ones?
Spend some time in meditation today thinking about how your life can make Jesus look great!!
I really don’t want to think about dying, but I know it’s the statistic that is 100% accurate. I am going to die someday unless you come back first. And yet I want my life to make you look great! I want to leave a legacy to those around me that would bring the most glory to you. I want you to be honored in my life so that one that day when I die those who are still alive can give testimony to your power and grace in my life because I have made not so much of “ME” but I have made much of YOU!