“that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” ~Philippians 2:15 (NKJV)
The Book of Exodus gives us one example of a shinning face: Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God. Scripture tells us that, when he came down from the mountain, “he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with God.” Further, we are told that the people would not come near him because of the radiance of his face; as a result, Moses had to wear a veil over his face in the presence of the people. In a sense, we have here in Philippians a situation that seems to be just the opposite.
When I was learning about refrigeration in my course of study at the community college, the one principle was that there was no such thing as “cold,”; it was merely the “absence of heat.” I would extend that principle to say that (maybe) there is no such thing as darkness, but, rather, there is an absence of light. I believe that to be true of today.
In many places in the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, and John spoke often of this principle of light. Light in a general sense is used to make things visible or manifest. Light has the ability to drive away the darkness not only in our world, but also in another’s world. I think this is why Paul wrote these words. The light of the Gospel should so shine in our lives as to make it difficult (like Moses) for the people we meet not to know that we have been in the presence of God. But, I would be quick to point out that, like the moon is only reflecting the light from the sun, so we are but a reflection of the Son’s light.
Lights are also useful to guide us as we walk. Our purpose of being reflected light is to be able to guide those around us who walk in darkness. For us to be light, we must send spend time in the Presence of Him who is Light—just a Moses did (Exodus 34:33-35). In doing so, we can point to the source of that light and the source of eternal life
While stationed in Alaska during my final tour of duty, I learned that hours and days of darkness in the winter time have a debilitating effect on the psyche. It was a malady called “seasonal affective disorder.” The only cure was to be in the presence of bright light during those times. In those instances, the light was what kept us cheerful and active. All this to say that, we as light can have a cheerful and positive influence on people; and we ought to be that influence as lights of Christ.
As someone has written, “A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips and sympathy in his heart, spreading sunshine wherever he goes and diffusing happiness around him.”
-Pastor John RobertsPrint This Post
Please welcome our Sunday morning contributing writer, Pastor John Roberts. John is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in the great Northwest where he resides with his wife of 46 years.