I am leading this online Bible Study. If you want to find us we are on Facebook and the page is called In “The Palm of His Hands.” Anyhow, we are studying Philippians. We read the designated scripture and then come together online on Thursday evenings and discuss what we have read.
In verse 14 and 16 it reads, “Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be pure and without blame. You will be children of God without fault among sinful and evil people. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. You will shine as you hold on tight to the word of life. Then I will be able to boast about you on the day Christ returns. I can be happy that I didn’t run or work for nothing.” As we were sharing the phrase shine among them like stars in the sky jumped out at me. God began to give me some insight.
When we can on a clear night some of us love to go out and look up at the stars. It is amazing to see all the stars twinkle at night. I had a girlfriend years ago when she found out we lived in the country asked me, “So can you see the stars at night?” I told her we could and I thought everybody could. She said no because they lived in town the city lights were too bright and she couldn’t see the stars. I thought how sad not to be able to see the stars shine.
As we were discussing this and the fact we are to do everything without complaining or arguing the idea of stars began to move me. In another part of this book Paul calls us to be blameless. To live blamelessly is to live with integrity so that no one can point an accusing finger (from David Jeremiah in Turning Toward Joy found on page 87). I began to think about how the stars shine so that everyone can see them. The stars don’t pick who they shine upon. They shine upon everyone. If we can’t see the stars it’s not the star’s fault it is us; something is blocking our ability to see them. We need to move or adjust our attitude so we can see them.
The stars shine down for everyone to see. God was telling me that is exactly what we are supposed to do. We are to shine down so the world will see Christ’s light in us. It’s not for us to pick and choose who we shine on; we don’t get to shine our light on this group or that group or this person or that person and not others. We shine Christ’s light on everyone and let them see the light in us. They may not see the light we are sharing, but if they don’t we don’t fret. It’s their fault if they can’t see the light.
Now I was never good in science and we did not have the luxury of having astrology classes when I went to school. So after digging on the computer I found that they shine all the time, but when the Sun is above the horizon, the glare from the sunlight outshines the stars. So fact number two, stars shine all the time. They don’t get to pick when they want to shine; they shine every day and at all times. Well, I am thinking we need to learn to shine more than we do. I know I don’t shine every day and I am guilty of picking and choosing who I want to shine on, but that’s not what God was telling me. He very plainly pointed out that I don’t get to pick and choose who I shine on and neither do I get to pick when I want to shine. Ouch!
“My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favoring one person over another. For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes. Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, “Please have a seat.” But you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor at my feet.” Aren’t you discriminating against people and using a corrupt standard to make judgments?” (James 2:1-4) By picking and choosing when and to whom I shine my light makes me judging people. We all know what God says about judging others. Or to put it in today’s terms, maybe I am meddling where I shouldn’t be meddling. I should let God do the meddling and I should shine His light on everybody.
What if by allowing others to see us shine like stars we give others a glimpse of God? What if the one person we deny shinning on needed a glimpse of God and we withheld it from them? In the Message it calls us to provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. By living a Godly life, following God’s ways others may just get a glimpse of what the Christian walk is all about. Some may have been raised in an environment where they don’t know what good living is; we need to mentor them and share what so many of us already know. Again getting a glimpse into someone else’s life might just have an effect on someone.
Matthew 5:16 says this, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
This was a quote from one of our ladies, “It was a quote from a college president. He said he lived his life as a thank you for what Jesus had given him.” By shinning and sharing our light with others and giving others a glimpse of God that may just be thanks enough.
How bright is your shining star? Are you picking and choosing when to shine or who to shine on? Can others see a glimpse of God in you?
Dear God: teach me to shine like the stars at all times and teach me not to pick and choose to whom I will shine on. Let others see a glimpse of you in me. May I always desire to follow your ways and to share good living with others and to share the living God with all those I meet. Amen.