“…my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Paul is writing this and says essentially that he wants to do his best in this life so as to not bring any shame to the name of Christ. He wants to use his life and his body, of which is all he truly posses to be given to the Lord’s use.
As I evaluate my own life on this first day of the year, this verse was used in My Utmost For His Highest this morning, a devotional I regularly read annually. As I contemplated the words Utmost For His Highest, it made me simply think of the question: am I doing my best? Am I giving my all to and for Christ? To be honest there are areas I can improve as I’m sure there are for all of us.
Paul was writing from a prison cell on this occasion and he is well aware that things may not be comfortable for him the remaining part of his life. He had already experienced much persecution and hardship and yet here he is imprisoned once again and yet content knowing that it will Advance The Gospel.
As we begin this year, let me gently challenge us all to take into consideration making any adjustments to our lives in light of advancing the gospel; that we would live without shame or bringing shame to Christ’s name. To quote the name of Oswald Chamber’s classic book, My Utmost For His Highest, by how we truly live.
How is my life glorifying God?
Is there an area(s) where I am bring Him shame?
Do others see Christ in me?
Am I giving my all to Christ and making every effort to live our God’s will for my life?