For I know […] 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. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19-21).
The apostle Paul always makes bold statements toward God. He is extremely grateful that the Lord through His grace and mercy saved him. Recognizing he was a chief sinner when the Lord took hold of him, Paul thrusts himself into His service. His writings exude boldness and such intensity, birthed from his realization of what Jesus has done for him. Thus should you and I respond when, similarly, we become aware of the “before and after.” That is, when we contrast the place from which the Lord pulled us to where He planted us, our response should be as intense as Paul’s. Overflowing gratefulness of heart will evoke a desire to give ourselves to our God, to be totally surrendered to Him.
Paul’s ardent desire was that Jesus be magnified in him. Stemming from the word megaluno, the word magnify means “to make great.” To fully understand the meaning, think about what a magnifying glass does to an object you are taking a look at. The glass serves to show detail about the object. It serves to reveal what might at first not be immediately obvious. Because of the magnifying glass, there is further attention drawn to the object and a greater understanding and appreciation results. So when Paul declares that “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death,” he covers it all (Philippians 1:20). “No matter what,” he is proclaiming, “my body will reveal Jesus to others.” So should be our determination: in how we live, in all that we do day to day, in the attitude we portray, Jesus should be revealed; others should be able to get an up-close look at Jesus by observing us. Even if death should come, all that comes with it should amplify Jesus, for death for the believer is not final: the victorious life continues on the other side, all because of what Jesus has accomplished. He is worthy of our lives.