Philippians 1:20 King James Version (KJV)
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Every year my family goes to Winter Jam together. It’s a Christian concert with 10 bands for $10. http://2016.jamtour.com/about This year we discovered a new band to us, We Are Messengers. We love their music!
The night before Winter Jam we were looking up the unfamiliar bands and artists, that would be performing, on YouTube. After listening to We Are Messengers’ song I’m On Fire we were excited to see them. They were one of the opening bands and they were just as good as we had hoped for. Their music was uplifting and thought provoking.
A worship song is usually performed during intermission, and we knew from experience that we would probably like it. When We Are Messengers came out, we were ready and my mom videoed the whole song. They sang an acoustic version of their song Magnify. It was so beautiful. After they performed, we were able to meet the lead singer Darren Mulligan, and share with him how much we loved Magnify. He told us that song meant a lot to them.
I posted the video, my mom took, on YouTube. At the end of the video it looks like I’m pouting. I’m not, I’m just really focused because this song really spoke to me.
Here’s the link to our video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYOz_7KV-0w
We have been listening to the We Are Messengers’ album constantly for months. My twin sister gave the CD to her guitar teacher so he could listen to Magnify and teach her how to play it on her guitar. She’s getting really good at playing it.
My family has gone through so much change in the last year with illness, death, unemployment and moving. When we went to Winter Jam, we thought my Dad was starting a new job the next week, he had been out of work six months after losing his job. While we were in line, my Dad called and told my Mom the company he was supposed to start working for had just pulled their offer. It was only a few days before his start date.
We were surrounded by so many people, it was hard to hear each other and the doors were about to open, so we didn’t get to really talk about until after the concert. During the concert I felt so overwhelmed. It felt like the storm we were going through was never going to end.
I was praying during the concert for God to give my family peace and direction. I asked God to speak to me and give me comfort.
This is the part of the song that really stood out to me:
“My sight is incomplete and I made You look small,
I’ve been staring at my problems for way too long,
realign where my hope is set,
until you’re all that’s left …”
When I heard that it felt like God was telling me not to look at all the problems happening in my life, to just focus on him.
When I heard that I was reminded to fix my eyes on Jesus, not my temporary problems.
Our Homeschool Co-op class put together a book and service club focused on persecution, missions and helping refugees. Last month we read Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of the Voice of the Martyr’s. He spent a total of 14 years in a communist prison, with months of solitary confinement in his homeland Romania. He was ransomed by the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance and eventually came to the United States. He didn’t want to leave the church in Romania at first but they told him to go and be a voice for the voiceless.
Our group read Philippians 1:20.
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (KJV)
We discussed how that scripture is reflected in Richard Wurmbrand’s life and legacy. As we looked at the passage in different translations, we noticed that in the King James Version the word for “exalted” is “magnify.” Magnify means to extol, praise, or glorify.
Christ was magnified in Richard Wurmbrand’s life.
“As communist atheists allowed no place for Jesus in their hearts, I decided I’d leave not the smallest place for Satan in mine.” – Richard Wurmbrand
In Richard Wurmbrand’s life he was arrested, beaten, and tortured for fourteen years, He still followed God even though it led him to prison, he sought God’s will for him while he was there. In his book he shares how he and fellow Christians would tithe in prison. They used the little food they received and gave it to the weakest.
“One great lesson arose from all the beatings, tortures, and butchery of the Communists: that the spirit is master of the body. We felt the torture, but it often seemed as something distant and far removed from the spirit which was lost in the glory of Christ and His presence with us. When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soup every day, we decided we would faithfully “tithe” even then. Every tenth week we took the slice of bread and gave it to weaker brethren as our “tithe” to the Master.” – Richard Wurmbrand in Tortured for Christ.
We all have problems and struggles in our lives, it’s easy to focus all of our time and energy on them. When we focus on our problems and struggles, it’s easy to forget that God has a plan and purpose for the pain and the heartache we feel. Our life here on earth is a moment of our eternal life with God. The trials we are going through and the pain we feel here is temporary.
We Are Messengers’ song reminds me that when God is magnified in our lives he is greater than everything, from all our hopes and dreams to all of our heartache, problems, and trials.
Fix your thoughts on Jesus.