I continue to feel–and more importantly to read in God’s Word–that we who know Christ are called to shine his love to overcome the increasing darkness of our world today.
This idea really took hold when I landed on the verse that follows the greatest commandment:
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour one another watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.Galatians 5: 15-16
Do you recall that kicker? I’ve never read it before, yet when I did my immediate reaction was: Could there be a better description of our present condition?
In Philippians 2, Paul instructs us in how we are to fulfill this command:
In your relationships with others, have the same mindset of Christ.Philippians 2: 5
And how exactly are we going to do this? Fortunately, Paul acknowledges that we can’t, but God can:
…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.Philippians 2: 12-13
As we invite God’s Spirit to align our will with his, he gives us the ability to do the work he has designed for us to do, so that we may play well our small parts in God’s grand and beautiful story of salvation. Here is what Paul tells us this looks like:
- In humility value others above yourselves
- Not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others
- Do everything without grumbling or arguing.
Over the last few days my acts of service have been defined by nothing if not grumbling; I hope it’s going better for you.
Paul promises that as we adopt the mindset of Christ, we will become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault, in a warped and crooked generation.
Then you will shine among them like the stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.Philippians 2: 14-16
Friends, the world needs the light of Jesus Christ now more than ever. Paul’s reminder this morning is that the brilliant light of Jesus reaches into the world through thousands of points of light burning in the hearts of us who know and love him.