Glory in Christ Jesus is somewhat of Christianity 101. But when Paul contemplated life and death, Christianity 101 is what he needed. And it may be what you need today.
Serving Jesus is about leading people to glory in Christ Jesus.
My reflection comes from Philippians 1:25-26, in which Paul writes, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
Paul writes these words out of context of his personal musings on life and death. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Paul ponders whether he would die or live – death presents the presence of God forever, while life presents suffering! Life in prison doesn’t offer the riches of personal achievement. Life in prison does not offer the fame and splendor in the eyes of the world so many crave.
Paul is at the end of his rope, and death itself seems attractive. After all, what would be better than life with God?
All of us reach a time in life when we discover life – this suffering life – won’t itself provide the attainment levels we might desire. Paul was there, and his longing for heaven grew intense.
So why should Paul carry on? Because Paul is entrusted with leading others to glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:26).
Leading others to glory in Christ Jesus is the ultimate expression of self-denial. It is the total surrender of any selfish pursuit of glory. Life becomes about another, the one who is truly glorious.