ODJ: shine like stars

September 16, 2015 

READ: Philippians 2:14-18 

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticise you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people (vv.14-15).

I’m not exactly what you would call a stargazer, but I’ve spent my fair share of clear nights gazing up into the heavens. I’ve learned enough about the star field to point out constellations such as the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt or Aquarius. And I’ll never forget the time that locating the North Star was the only thing that saved me from spending the night lost in a cold, wet swamp. I used it to find my way out of the inky darkness.

Every now and then I find myself awestruck by the enormity of the star-filled sky. Even though the naked eye can see only a small fraction of the universe God has created, the myriad of twinkling lights in our field of vision can be stunning.

The vastness of this piece of God’s handiwork makes me feel small—as it should. It’s a striking reminder that there is a Creator-God and we are His creation (Nehemiah 9:6). But when I consider the night sky through the lens of Scripture, I find myself invited by our Maker to be a part of something as big and bright as the stars themselves.

The apostle Paul used the stars to describe our mission as believers in Jesus. He wrote that God calls us to “shine among [unbelievers] like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16 NIV). Stars stand out like bright lights and draw people’s attention. In the same way, God calls us to shine brightly for Christ so that the world living in darkness will see it and be drawn to the “word of life”—Jesus Himself.

The next time you find yourself gazing up at a brilliantly lit night sky, remember that the One who hung those bright lights calls you to shine as a beacon of hope and life for the sake of a dark and dying world.

—Jeff Olson

365-day-plan: John 15:1-16

Read Matthew 5:15-16 and consider what it means to “let your light shine before others”. 
What can prevent you from shining for Jesus? How will you help others see His light today?