Read: Philippians 1:12-21
According to tradition, the apostle Paul was beheaded and buried in Rome around AD 67. In 2009, scientists conducted carbon dating tests on what many believe to be his mortal remains. While these tests on the bone fragments confirmed that they date from the first or second century, positive identification is still questioned. But no matter where Paul’s bones rest, his heart lives on through his letters in the New Testament. God used him to write 13 books of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Spirit, which make almost half of our New Testament.
While imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Philippi about his purpose in life. He spoke of his “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” (Phil. 1:20-21). What a desire and hope!
As we read Paul’s letters today, they challenge us to examine our hearts. Are we as passionate as he was about Jesus Christ? Is it our goal to honour Him in our everyday life? Or are we simply using Jesus to fulfil our worldly needs alone?
Long after we are gone, those who knew us will remember our hearts. Like Paul, may we create and leave a legacy of hope and encouragement centred around Jesus Christ. Let us commit ourselves to doing the will of God in our everyday lives, no matter what. If we are true believers in Jesus, remember that we are Christ’s letters of recommendation to all who read our lives.