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.
With these passages we see Paul’s heart for Jesus. He was not only totally committed to Christ, he set his heart toward the day he would see Jesus face to face. The phrase “earnest expectation” paints the picture of a person who is so completely confident in what lies ahead, and has so much eager anticipation for what’s to come, he can hardly think of anything else. Moreover, when Paul speaks about being ashamed he is not speaking about political correctness or offending people. As a matter of fact, Paul is speaking about just the opposite. Paul is concerned that in nothing does he want to be ashamed in front of Jesus. Paul is referring to not being bold for Christ and the Gospel because of social pressure or what we would call today “political correctness.” In other words, not fully committing to what God has called him to do. Not giving himself completely to the ministry the Lord has equipped him to perform in his service to Christ.
Paul is thinking ahead to that day when he comes face to face with Jesus our Lord and Savior. And he does not want to be ashamed that he did not present the Gospel when he should have. Paul does not want to be ashamed that he did not tell everyone about Jesus when he should have, because of fear of offending that person. His whole body and mind is so overcome with expectation of seeing Christ, that praise is continually on his lips. Paul also knew that to die would mean he would be in the presence of Jesus, however, the longer he lived the more opportunity he would have to share the Gospel and be in service to God. Through these passages we better understand what it means to live our lives as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Dear child of God, what Paul did was he kept eternity in mind. Paul understood that our time here in this world is the shortest, briefest part of our existence. Our short lives here in this world, are just a momentary “blink of the eye,” compared to the eternity which awaits us. And eternity that will either be spent with Jesus forever, or forever separated from God, because of our rejection of Jesus.