A telescope seems to bring heavenly bodies much closer to us. It certainly does enable us to see much more detail upon the surface of these bodies. But it does not actually bring them one bit closer to us. Nor does it enlarge them to any great degree. Yet a telescope is a valuable tool, and is wroth being respected for what it does.
How much more wonderful is the life of the child of God, when it magnifies Christ before the eyes of men. Such was the case with Paul. In Philippians 1:20 he wrote, "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that in all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
Here, too, the idea is not that he can make Christ, Who is up in heaven, greater in significance and in glory. That is impossible. But, having God's grace, Paul was able to have his love abound into his knowledge and judgment, so that he approves of things that are excellent. Christ was magnified in Paul's body. The idea is that by his works, as an apostle of Christ who glorified and praised God, through his preaching but also by all his walk of life, he made it possible for men more clearly and in better detail to see Christ as the God of our salvation.
Now, we are not all apostles. Usually there is only one pastor in a congregation. Yet we all have the same calling to magnify Christ Whom God sent. We must cause our fellow believers, but also the unbelievers, to see more of Christ than they did in the past.
The world will hate us and try to destroy us. But if we love God, we will want to magnify Christ, and tell the world what He has done for us.
Is that true of you? Remember Paul's prayer in Philippians 1:9 . Our love must abound more and more in knowledge and in judgment, for God's glory and praise. Be a spiritual telescope that magnifies Christ to God's glory and praise.
Read: Philippians 1:9-20 .
When the Holy Spirit has been given to a man, “he inflames him to the love of God and of his neighbor.” But while this flame of love sheds its light on all the faculties of the soul, its radiance is exercised particularly on the will….The divine ardor which emanates from it (charity, MD) rectifies the will and directs it toward what is good. The will is so affected that it takes a genuine delight in what is good. This (love) is “the movement of the soul toward the enjoyment of God for his own sake.”
(Thomas Hand, quoting St. Augustine on “Prayer”)