Read Philippians 2:12-18
A few weeks ago I was teaching a part of the Big God Story to 4 -6 year olds and the part for that morning was that we are all a part of God’s big family that he promised to Abraham. To close the morning the kids all came forward and took paper stars and taped them to a black piece of paper, signifying their place in the promise.
Today as I read the verses in Philippians and I got to verse 15 at the end it says “…You will shine like stars in the world…“. The picture that came to me was of those sweet little ones placing their stars in the sky, like God places us, his stars, in this world we are part of his promise. We are called to shine.
Shining doesn’t just happen though. And we can’t read the shiny part and leave out what is behind it. We shine because of what Christ has done for us, what he does in us and through us. We really can’t shine on our own. It is His light that lives within us glowing from the inside out and it is only in our weakness, in laying ourselves down and rescinding all our rights when he truly can take over and be a bright light that makes a difference in the darkness.
You and I need to make room for the light. We need to do the laying down. The forsaking ourselves. The giving up. The surrendering. We need to let go of our pride, our way, our ideas – completely. This is what it means to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (v.12) To everyday surrender. To everyday realign with your Savior. To everyday give up your rights, hold tightly to him, to allow him to “produce in you the desires and actions that please him” (13).
Then we shine. Then we have joy. Then we please God.
At the cross our sin was wiped away. At the cross we who confess and believe were called blameless, innocent, God’s children. Not because of anything we did but because of everything perfect he is and everything painful he endured. God calls us to obey. God gives us the ability to do so. God shines through us like stars. Jesus took away our guilt and shame. Jesus made us blameless, innocent and free. We believe, lay down ourselves and accept everything as a gift.
Then, we shine. Like the stars.