Shine

“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15

Greetings fellow sojourners!

This instructive passage was influenced by Deuteronomy 32:5, “His people have acted corruptly toward Him; this is their defect — they are not His children but a devious and crooked generation.” Verse six goes on to say, “Is this how you repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t He your Father and Creator? Didn’t He make you and sustain you?”

As children of God, we are to ‘shine’ in this generation. What will cause us to be luminous is when the brilliant quality of God is manifested through us. If we are not willing to make our desires line up with God’s will, there will be occasions when we do not illuminate God at all. We can’t expect to be luminous if we behave like the unsaved; as if we were unaware of what pleases God. One of the qualities of Biblical ‘light’ is the spiritual purity that exists in its truth and knowledge. If you notice in the Philippians verse, one of the ways to achieve purity in our life is to not “grumble and argue.” Therefore, if we desire to be blameless and pure, we must live up to the truth we know and stay away from grumbling and arguing. We can do this.

A way of looking at the idea of “shinning” is to ‘shed light’ on something. God sheds light on the human mind to enable us to understand the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). We must first receive the truth of this appeal and see the purity that resides in it. ”Grumbling” is the outward wranglings of discontent which proceeds not so much from our mind as it does from our heart so we must make certain it is God’s love in our heart and not discontent. “Arguing” is concerned mostly when we voice petty or unnecessary objections so we must cease our trivial nitpicking. When we abstain from this behavior, God can shine through us in order to shed His light of righteousness on this generation.

Most Christians can do many things without complaining. The tension arises within us when we know we are to do “all things” with a joyful spirit in accordance with the Word but bombard ourselves instead with reasons not to submit. Since the bottom-line problem relates to the condition of our heart, we must resolve to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. If we choose not to do this, most of our thoughts and behaviors will be inconsistent with the Christian walk.

Have you ever considered grumbling and arguing to be an idolatrous response to your circumstance? 1 Corinthians 10:6-11 reminds us of some of the behavior the people in the wilderness had which consisted of sexual immorality, testing Christ, and complaining. As a result, God judged and destroyed them for their sins. When we turn from idolatrous behavior to serve the living and true God and wait for his Son from heaven, Jesus will deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

When we idolize something, we crave, want, enjoy, and are more satisfied with it than we are with God. We have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve something created instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25). We idolize our own opinions when it drives us to grumble and argue with someone else to protect our point of view. Help us, Lord, to be pure and blameless. I desire to not grumble and argue but see that Your ways are higher than ways. I choose You even when my circumstances do not seem fair or make sense to me. Thank you Jesus for Your purity that resides in me.

In His grace,

Amanda

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