Shine Like Stars

Do everything without grumbling or arguing… Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Phil. 2:14,15b

What happens when a Christian behaves badly like an unbeliever? As Paul points out, the world around can’t see Christ in them, so there’s no light for their darkness. In other words, if the life our neighbors see in us is explainable only in terms of our human personality and background, what do we have to say to our neighbors that will awaken them to their need of Christ? If the situations we face cause us to react with the same murmuring and discontent and bitterness they have, what's the difference between our quality of life and theirs? They will simply say, “My life is explained in terms of my personality: I like certain sports and entertainment, and certain kinds of music and you like religion — that's all.” Unless there’s a quality to our life that can only be explained in terms of the difference God’s presence in us has made, there’s really nothing in us to challenge the world around us. The world is waiting to see God, and they will when they see Christians stop their mumbling, complaining and arguing … when they stop seeing us live, in other words, just like everyone else.

There must be a quality to our lives that can only be explained in terms of what God is doing in us and through us; and then, as Paul says, as we live in the midst of “a crooked and perverse generation,” the light of the gospel will shine into the darkness of where we live. This is what Jesus means when he says, “Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We are to be the beacon of hope that others need — the sign of God’s beauty in a world that has all but defaced it.

In fact, when Paul speaks of the Philippians shining like lights, he’s quoting a passage from Daniel 12:3, which speaks of “the wise” who were beacons of hope to their generation because of their faith in God’s promise to raise the dead to life again. In a sense, then, what Paul is saying is not just that the Philippians are to be a sign of light and beauty in a world of darkness and ugliness. They are to be a sign of God’s new life in a world that only knows the way to death. That’s our calling as well! We are to let the light of Christ shine through us “like stars in the sky” !

Prayer: Forgive me for my grumbling, Lord. Help me to trust you in every situation and, in doing so, shine brightly in a dark world. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment