Philippians 2:14-16, NIV
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.”
The other day, whilst admiring our new wardrobe, we noticed how much lighter the room seemed. We realised that the mirrored wardrobe doors were reflecting the daylight that was coming through the window, and, although the source of light remained constant, it was being distributed around the room and having a greater effect.
This started me thinking about the light and glory of God, and the verse in James that says ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1:17). God’s glory isn’t variable. It isn’t controlled by a huge dimmer switch, or dictated to by the weather conditions and other environmental matters. It’s constant and sure.
The big issue is how the light and glory of God is to be distributed, revealed and appropriated in the spiritually dark times we live in. It’s true that God is sovereignly revealing Himself more and more in these days, but, as the people of God, we have a responsibility. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we’re to carry the light into those places where it’s needed, and shine for Him as brightly as we can.
We find a lot in Scripture showing our main destiny as believers on earth is to be light bearers for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Peter says, ‘You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light’ (1 Peter 2:9).
To us this may seem an awesome task, but the good news is that, as we show that we’re willing, God’s at work helping us. ‘For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and helping you do what he wants’ (Philippians 2:13, NLT). This work that God is doing in each of us is a work of transformation, making us more and more like Jesus. We read ‘And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that can brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more’ (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT)
As the days become darker, may our prayer as individuals and as communities of God’s people be that we shine with increasing brightness as we reflect His glory.
Prayer: Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder love and praise. Amen. (Charles Wesley)