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January 29th, 2018 - Phil 3:10b

                      Daily Devotional <> January 29, 2018 <> Monday

                      Paul's commitment to Christ-4 <> Philippians 3:10b

                            Point of Contact <> Bro. Ben Van Winkle

 

   Being conformed to His death: as we mentioned before this is usually explained as meaning that Paul wanted to live the crucified life, to die practically to self, sin & the world. But such interpretation robs this passage of it's point. It does mean that , but also much more. Paul was a passionate follower of the One who died on the cross at Calvary. Not only that, Paul was present when the first martyr of the Christian church died; in fact, he was an accomplice in murdering him! Now, we believe that Paul was anxious to pour out his life in the same way. Perhaps Paul would have felt embarrassed to meet Stephen in heaven, if he had come by any more comfortable route than martyrdom.

   It has been said that many Christians are satisfied in which there is no “shedding of blood.” They give away what they can easily spare. Their gifts are detached things, & the surrender of them requires no bleeding. They engage in sacrifice as long as it doesn't involve life, when the really vital is demanded, they are not to be found. They are prominent at all triumphant entries, & willingly spend a little money on colorful decorations <> on banners & palm branches, but when “Hurrahs” & Hosannas” change into ominous murmurs & threats, & Calvary comes into sight, they steal away into safe seclusion.

   But here is an apostle who joyfully anticipates this supreme & critical demand. He is almost impatient at his own dribblings of blood energy in the service of the kingdom! He is eager in need, to pour it out.

   Another has said; There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world <> Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground & die, it stands alone.” We know how the Lord Jesus became fruitful <> not by bearing His cross only, but by dying on it. Do we understand much of the fellowship with Him in this? There are not two Christs <> an easy going Christ for easy going Christians, & a suffering toiling Christ for exceptional believers. There is only One Christ. Are we willing to abide in Him & bear fruit?

   Paul wanted to tread as a martyr the pathway of suffering & death, that he might reach resurrection & glory by the same path as the blessed One who had won his heart.