Philippians 2:12-18 (NRSV)
Shine like stars in the world
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you - and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me.
Today’s GOOD NEWS continues the theme that as Christians, we are called to “hold fast to the word of life.” What is this word of life; it is the GOSPEL (also known as the GOOD NEWS).
The GOOD NEWS message is simple, “God loves, God gave, God saves.” God loves the world. God gave The Son (Jesus) to die on the cross for our sins. God saves us when we put all of our faith and hope of salvation in Jesus.
Paul says we should, “shine like stars in the world.”
I want to be a star for Jesus! I want the light of Jesus Christ to shine through my life and my actions bringing light and love wherever it is needed.
Yesterday we said, “they will know we are Christians by our love.” As we experience the love of God revealed through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we share that love with others. We don’t love people because we have to; we love people because we want to!
Paul said, “Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent children of God…” Come on! Let’s tell on ourselves…Don’t we sometimes murmur and complain in our churches? Don’t we sometimes fuss and fight? Don’t we sometimes fall out and break fellowship? Of course we do, for we are human and besought with the sin-sickness that afflicts all of humanity.
But, there ought to be something different about how Christians handle conflict. We ought to be able to disagree, without being disagreeable. We ought to be able to honor each other’s right to have an opinion that differs from our own. We ought to be able to deliberate about complex issues and still love one another when we are done!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again--The world is watching us!
Our Non-Christian friends want to see if we are any different than they are. They want to see if our lives are richer, fuller, more joyful, or more complete. They want to know if they are missing anything; or if we are just offering more of the same—simply packaged differently.
Let us shine like stars in the darkness! Let us hold fast to the Word of Life. Let us share the GOOD NEWS boldly and courageously knowing that our labors will not be in vain!
I love Mahalia Jackson’s song, “If I Can Help Somebody.” The words are,
If I can help somebody as I travel along, if I can help somebody in a word or song, if I can help somebody from doing wrong, Lord, my living shall not be in vain.
No! My living shall not be in vain! No, my living shall not be in vain! If I can help somebody
while I'm singing this song, you know, my living shall not be in vain.
Who can you help today?
My Lord God, how I want to help somebody! Thank you for your love and for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I want to shine like a star in the dark, sharing Your love, joy, and peace with everyone I meet. I know that nothing that I do in Your Name, will ever be in vain! I also remember that, “Only what I do for Christ, will last!” Thank you for allowing me to be Your partner in the work of loving the whole world to Christ! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus" found at
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/