Oswald Chambers named his daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest. Following his death in 1917, Chambers’ widow published this collection of sermons designed to reach students and soldiers in 1927. Prior to modern technology, you could find a copy of My Utmost for His Highest in churches across the country. Whether at a Church Office, Foyer or Welcome Center, free copies were often made available to guests to deepen the spiritual growth of believers.
This is in keeping with my own eager desire and persistent expectation and hope, that I shall not disgrace myself nor be put to shame in anything; but that with the utmost freedom of speech and unfailing courage, now as always heretofore, Christ (the Messiah) will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and be boldly exalted in my person, whether through (by) life or through (by) death, Philippians 1:20.
In the passage above, the apostle Paul refers to “the utmost freedom of speech.” Paul isn’t referring to the Bill of Rights or the United States Constitution. Rather, this expression is based upon the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of apostles eager to share the Gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. Fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, conceived in Paul a desire, expectation, and hope to tell the world about Jesus.
For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity], Philippians 1:21.
Out of this utmost freedom of speech spawned one of the most famous sayings in the New Testament. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Paul proclaims to live is Christ and to die is gain. Like a foreshadowing of his future death as a prisoner of Christ, this utmost freedom fueled Paul’s spiritual intensity. In today’s age of Cancel Culture, many Christians are muzzled, afraid of the blow back from social media. Instead of becoming a prisoner of fear, snap out of it so that you too can experience the utmost freedom of speech.
by Jay Mankus