PHILIPPIANS 1:15-21 – Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
THEME OF THE DAY: REPRESENT HIM WELL. What is the greatest privilege and responsibility in the Christian life? I know the question is restricted as we may rightly answer, “To know God” as defined by Jesus in His High Priestly prayer – When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:1-3). That is certainly one of the great privileges and responsibilities in the Christian life. We might also answer, “To serve Christ’s church and His people”. The Apostle Paul would tell us in his Ephesian letter that God has gifted believers for this great privilege and responsibility – Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:8-13). Using our gifts and talents is very important and should be considered a great privilege and responsibility.
However, let me toss something else out there for our consideration as the greatest privilege and responsibility as a Christian. It was the passion of the Apostle Paul as he languished in prison. We see it in today’s scripture. He wanted to represent Christ well no matter the circumstances – it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Friends, all our witnessing and sharing of the Gospel must be validated by a life reflecting the change the Gospel makes. We proclaim the Gospel by words and affirm the Gospel by conduct. Our profession is only as good as our practice. The question is not “Are we witnesses for Christ?” but “Are we good witnesses for Christ representing Him well in word and deed? Yes, that is the greatest privilege and responsibility in the life of a Christian – to live representing Christ, not perfectly, but sincerely, never giving someone who observes us reason not to believe on Him because we mispresented Him.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for the privilege and responsibility to represent Your Son in the world.”
QUOTE: “We represent Christ in every conversation, activity, and place. Are people seeing the real Jesus through us?”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,