Last week I attended the funeral of the father of one of my closest friends. His father was a godly man, committed husband, loving dad, and devote apostle. He spent the last year and a half of his life battling cancer while his family, friends, and church vigorously prayed. The church was packed for the funeral as it was apparent that his man had truly completed the work God has planned for him.
Through his loosing battle with cancer my friend’s father held fast to the purpose of glorifying God and advancing the gospel. His main prayer was that God would be glorified through his circumstances no matter what.
The other day my friend was telling me a story about a car ride he had
a few weeks ago with his father just before his death. The song “Blessed Be Your Name” came on the radio. His father began to weep as he told his son, ” No matter what happens, I will live to glorify God.” And he did. His entire life was lived lined up with God’s plan for for him.
This is the type of man I want to be.
His life was committed to advancing the gospel of Christ. And it truly showed through his suffering. His faith in God and commitment to His Kingdom granted me the boldness to live a life on mission.
Paul wrote to the church in Philippi from prison. His life, like my friend’s father’s, was devoted to glorifying and serving Christ… even through suffering. Like my friend’s father’s, Paul’s church (in Philippi) was deeply sorrowful for his suffering. And like my friend’s father, Paul uses his circumstances to glorify God and advance the gospel.
Paul tells them that through his imprisonment the gospel is being advance (1:12-13). The believers, instead of becoming fearful when hearing this, become “much more bold to speak the word” (1:14).
God used Paul’s life to strengthen the church with boldness.
God used my friend’s father’s life to strengthen the church with boldness.
I’ve been reflecting over the last few weeks on what a life worth living truly looks like. The reality is that the most admirable lives are the ones mark with suffering for a greater purpose. The apostle Paul, my buddy’s dad, and Jesus Christ all lived lives marked with suffering for a great purpose. And that purpose was for the glory of our Father.
I pray that VI would be strengthened with the boldness to speak the word without fear.
I pray that VI would continue to be committed to glorifying Christ and advancing the gospel in Tempe to ASU.