Shine As Lights (Phil 2: 13-16)

By | Sep 14, 2017

At the time of creation the world was in the state of chaotic night and God said, “let there be light.” Six times in the first chapter of Genesis it is said that God moved from evening until morning. He always moves from darkness to light. Following the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, once again conditions were not only chaotic but the darkness seemed impenetrable. But God gave man a ray of light when He promised that “the seed of the woman would bruise the serpents head.” That promise came to fruition when Jesus went to the cross and offered Himself a sacrifice for the sins of man.

Three words are dominant in John’s message to the world and they are life, love, and light. He has the message of life for those who are dead, the message of love for the depraved and the message of light for those who sit in darkness. It is the message of light that I want to emphasize in this article. When Jesus was made flesh and dwelt among us we read, “in Him was life; and the life was the light of men. The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (The darkness could not put it out) John 1: 4-5.

Darkness describes the moral condition of this sinful world, Isaiah 9:2 says, “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light….upon them hath the light shined.” “Jesus was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” It is in Him that we see the “light of the knowledge of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ.” Jesus, who is “the light of the world,” exhorted His disciples, “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” In Philippians 2: 16 the Apostle Paul reminds them that they were in the “midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” In this dense darkness God wants us to shine for Him. Without which the world would be a gloomy dungeon.

Light serves many purposes. It is a disinfectant for both the body and mind. It is used by those who battle with depression. While darkness breeds disease of all kind, light is a deterrent. A study was done of cities with a population of 1000 or more concerning the correlation of crime and darkness. They discovered where there was adequate lighting crime decreased as much as 90% and the average decrease was 43%. This teaches us that there is danger in darkness and safety in light.

The same God that said, “let there be light” and brought cosmos out of chaos in the beginning; is the same God that has shined into the darkness and chaos of our hearts and has illuminated us by His glory and we are to shine as fixed luminaries in this dark world.He has called us to live radiant lives in this world filled with darkness that others might be lead into His glorious light.

My text reveals characteristics of radiant living. It is a life that finds a pleasurable obedience in doing His will. Obedience will always be done without murmurings and disputings. Murmuring reflects an undercurrent of discontent and disputing is more of an open defiant attitude against the will of God. The Apostle, in speaking of his own experience in Phil. 4:11 says, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” We find that there is not only contentment but great pleasure in doing His will.

As the moon is a reflection of the Sun’s light and can only give light to the earth as it remains in the full light of the sun. The radiance of the Christian’s life can only continue as one maintains a clear view of the face of our Lord. Paul admonishes us to be “blameless and harmless, and without rebuke in this dark and perverse world.” It is only through the holy living of God’s saints that the radiance of Christ can break in on this dark world. We are only able to do this as we “hold forth the word of life.” It is the written word that is our guide and inspiration. It reveals the living Word in whose image we are being restored from glory to glory.  The best it yet to come, for “the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18) When we enter into that celestial city it will blaze forth with eternal light, for “the Lamb is the Light” in that grand city. If we stay faithful and shine as lights in this world, we will sit with Him on His throne, and shine with Him forever.

In this dense darkness God has called us to be lights. In this immoral, ungodly, and pagan world, God has placed His children as sentinels. The light that they reflect is challenge to the darkness because it cannot extinguish that light and therefore the darkness must flee. Like the Philippians we have seen a new vision, heard a new voice and that voice has called us to “shine as lights in this world.” If we are faithful to this call God has declared, “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” The promise follows that if we continue to be obedient and shine as lights in this dark world we will “rejoice in the day of Christ, that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” Let us, like the five wise virgins, keep our lamps trimmed and burning with the oil of the Holy Spirit until we move into that Perfect Day where we will behold the effulgence, glory, and luster of our Lord and Savior, the original and eternal Light!

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