Reacting or Radiating? – Day 87

by ggerhauser

As mentioned before, the stars are also a significant symbol used throughout the Scripture. After the creation account, God himself calls Abraham to look toward the heavens and count the stars saying, “So shall your offspring be.” Here God is making a clear connection between stars and Abraham’s descendents. The Lord is not just trying to show him the vastness of his descendents, but the very nature of their calling: to shine like the stars in the night, to be a nation that is a witness to the glory of God. Later on in Genesis we read of Joseph’s dream in which the stars represent his brothers, the sons of Israel (Gen. 37:9). Again Israel is likened to the stars and thus Moses words reflect this: “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exo. 19:6).

In the sermon of the Mount Jesus said to his Jewish disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14-16). He was reminding them of a call they had forgotten. Paul also reminds us to remember our calling: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Phil. 2:14-15).

As we read Philippians 2:14-15, our minds should go back to the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness, grumbling and arguing because of the intensity of the pressures. Paul says we are to be the exact opposite of these young Israelites: we are to do everything without grumbling and arguing. This is a very exacting command because it includes everything. Not only that, it teaches us about what it actually means to be a light, which is much more than doing good deeds. Being a light involves our attitudes and the words we speak. When the world sees us under intense pressure and we are not grumbling, complaining and arguing about it, we serve as lights. It is a natural thing to react; it takes supernatural power to praise God through all things.

Prayer: Father, make us into lights who shine even under the most intense pressures. May we do everything without grumbling or complaing. Instead of reacting may we radiate your light to the world, in Jesus’ name.