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Devotional - week of August 5, 2012


GLORIFYING CHRIST IN OUR BODIES

 

For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance 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 with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 

Philippians 1:19-20

 

In his Roman prison, Paul knew that his situation would turn out okay whether by life or death because of the prayers of the Philippians. His desire was not to be ashamed regardless of the outcome. His desire was to magnify Jesus in his body whether by life or death.

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that we can bring glory to God by our good works. This, of course, means that we bring glory to God through our bodies. How, though, can Paul magnify Jesus in his body through death.

 

On trial before the Sanhedrin for preaching the gospel, the face of Stephen “was seen as the face of an angel.” Perhaps Paul saw this. Shortly after the trial, Stephen was stoned to death while Paul “was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him” (Acts 22:20).”

 

Paul surely saw a face revealing inner peace on the face of Stephen when he knelt down and cried with a loud voice "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." In his body, Stephen magnified Jesus through death. Perhaps this is what Paul had in mind in his letter to the Philippians. Paul’s testimony in Acts 22:20 indicates that he was deeply affected by what he saw in Stephen.

 

And how did Stephen die in such victory? He was a man “filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.” Acts 6:5.