It’s dark out there.
I’m not a pessimist or doomsayer. I’m grateful to be alive in this day and age.
But there’s no denying that today’s world is a dark place. I doubt you even need examples. More than likely, you’re already depressed by a hundred different problems in a hundred different places.
There are few who would deny they are searching for hope and change. No matter their race, background, vocation, political or religious views, people long for light.
But so few know where to find it. Everyone claims to possess the key, and yet the darkness remains.
The true light?
The God Man, who voluntarily left His throne in Heaven, walked among us, sinless, then laid down His life to pay the penalty for our sins against our Holy Creator.
He rose again, defeating Satan, sin, and death. And now, from His heavenly throne, He offers to each of us sweet forgiveness.
To all who place their trust entirely in Him, He extends full mercy and grace. Eternal life in Heaven.
And the presence of His Holy Spirit for every second of life.
So how does this light penetrate the darkness?
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life… (Philippians 2:14-16a)
How do we shine?
By not grumbling or disputing.
At first glance, those don’t seem like capital offenses.
Most of us would protest this command. Isn’t it just human nature to complain and argue a little?
But maybe that’s the point.
It is human nature to grumble and dispute. Everyone does it. Because really, there’s a lot to grumble and dispute about in this messed up world.
But if we as God’s children are able to refrain, by the power of the Holy Spirit, from these tendencies that come as easy as taking our next breath, the world might be drawn to our flame.
Further description of those shining the light in this world?
Those who are blameless, innocent, children of God without blemish.
In other words, our lives are in stark contrast to the rest of our generation – those who are crooked and twisted.
We’re not self-righteous. We aren’t instructed to talk loudly about how perfect we are.
Instead we live as those who were once in darkness, but are now clothed in God’s righteousness. And our attitudes and actions are proof of the light indwelling us.
How do we keep it all straight in a crooked world? The ability to see the difference between what’s twisted and what’s blameless?
The foundation is in the final phrase – holding fast to the word of life.
Life is found in the Word of God. Nowhere else.
If we compromise our source of authority, we compromise everything.
Hold fast to it.
It’s not man’s word, myths, nor fables.
It’s the Word of life.
Cling to it.
You possess the light. And you were divinely appointed to live in this time and in this place.
No, it’s not easy. Yes, it’s dark.
Yes, Satan’s busy, and it’s hard to hold your head up under all the pressure sometimes.
But darkness can never extinguish light. It’s always the other way around.
Shine. Shine as lights in the world.