Shine like Stars
Shine like Stars
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Shine like the stars…
Jesus said it this way: “Let your lives SO shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Read the bible just a little bit and you will discover that one of the great themes of the Bible is: LIGHT.
We need light. We need light to live. For years Psychologists have made a living in of all places – ALASKA. Know why? For much of the year, in certain parts of Alaska – people live with limited light. We need light to live.
When Jesus confronted one of the main churches in Revelation – he referred to the community of faith – the church – as a lamp stand.
***We live in a DARK world***
Shine like the STARS…
How do we Shine like the STARS?
1. We shine like stars when we allow God to do HIS FULL WORK in our lives.
Paul is talking about God’s work in YOU…Paul wants to know – let’s let him speak today, He asks: “What’s GOD doing in your life right now?”
“Work out your own salvation” – word salvation – make room; open up;
Are you making room for God?
Is your heart open to God and HIS PLAN for your life in 2008?
We allow the light of Christ to come in…to shine in us…
In another sense we are asking, LORD, will you fill me with YOUR LIGHT?
Work out – in early January maybe you have some good intentions for this year.
Maybe you are going to be intentional about a WORK OUT this year.
Maybe you’ve already become a member at the YMCA.
Maybe your cholesterol is a bit too high and the doctor and your wife have planned a WORK OUT just for you.
Maybe you are a MUSICIAN and you need to work out a program to keep your voice going – you plan
God works in you;
but God also wants you to put to work the faith He gives you.
I doubt very seriously if the only SPIRITUAL thing you do in 2008 is come to FBC Stanton and listen to every sermon I preach – you won’t grow very much!
So much of the Christian life, worship and word and witness – it isn’t just about what happens right here in a worship service.
Folks, we’ve got to allow God to do HIS FULL WORK in our lives.
That’s 24/7. God wants to let the light in your life – not just for an hour on Sunday but 7 days a week.
What that means for you and for me today is that WORSHIP has got to be more than an hour on Sundays. We‘ve got to connect with Him. We’ve got to communicate with the Sovereign Lord of our lives. Talk to God today. Talk with Him tomorrow. Tell Him where you need the most help. Confess the things in your life that are wrong and need to be taken away. Trust God to come in – He will if you will invite Him.
This past week I read a great book recommended to me by my daughter. She is a reader and I like that. This book comes from our church library and I read it in one day – “Same kind of different as me.”
The true life story of Ron Hall and Denver Moore.
Could any two people be more different than Ron and Denver?
Ron is a wealthy Art Collector and seller. Denver grew up on a slave plantation with nothing.
Ron’s wife, Debbie Hall became convicted that she was not living the life God had called her to fully. She was a Christian. She read her Bible. She believed in prayer.
Debbie became convicted that she and her husband should not only be active in their local church – but find a way to serve God and make a difference in the world.
Every Tuesday night they went down to the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Ft. Worth, Tx. They fed the hungry and befriended the homeless.
This was Debbie’s dream not Ron’s. Ron went through the motions in his service to God. But he went. One day the meanest ugliest, smelliest man came to the mission. He started fighting with everyone around him. Debbie looked to Ron and said, “That’s the man God told me that YOU should befriend.”
Ron said, “God hadn’t told me that!”
Long story short…Denver, the angry homeless man watched the lives of Ron and Debbie for more than three months. They showed up at the mission every Tuesday night and fed hungry and homeless people. They didn’t seek recognition for this service – it was all done quietly and without calling attention to themselves.
Miracle – Denver finally broke. Denver saw Christ at work in the lives of Ron and Debbie Hall. Denver committed his life to the Lord and God began a transformation that only God could accomplish. AMAZING. Real.
Denver began to serve others. Denver became a man of repentance and faith and belief.
Denver Moore began to allow God to do HIS full work in our lives.
2. We SHINE like the stars when we allow God to speak through us…
God speaks through you… Philippians 2:14-15
This word seems so out of place to me. God’s Word points us in this passage to Spiritual Growth, spiritual maturity – and we are reminded in verse 13 near the end, this is God’s will; This is what brings God great pleasure – that you become like God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
God’s Word now drives us to the most practical application for our lives – how God speaks through us.
Paul quickly brushes aside the idea that we use only “God talk” in our conversations. You know what I’m talking about, right. On Sunday we have our “King James” words and on Monday through Saturday we use our “language of the people”.
On Sunday we speak as if we care about doing “the will of God”…
On Monday –Saturday we speak as if life, the world is all about us.
On Sunday we speak of humility and giving; but Monday through Saturday we speak of winning and gaining.
On Sunday we speak the words of Jesus, “Seek first the Kingdom of God; But on Monday – Saturday we seek to please and honor ourselves.
God wants you to know that if you take Jesus seriously, if you take God at His Word – you will allow God to speak through you.
Did you see it here in these verses? Do everything without complaining and murmuring. Everything? Everything. This is a command!
3. We shine like the stars when we allow God to USE US for His Glory in this world.
“Hold Forth the Word of LIFE…”
For the Glory of God…”
You know what deeply concerned Paul at the time of this writing?
People in Philippi were busy people. These people were literally building the infrastructure of the Roman world. They were concerned about Job security. They were concerned about giving their children a top-notch education. They wanted to “buy in” to their nations economy and have something stable financially for their future.
God whispers to Paul and tells him, if these people are not careful, God may get squeezed totally out of their life. And if they don’t obey my words – the light will go out within them.
And so, we have this Word for our lives today – not at all unlike the world of God’s people in Philippi – Shine. Shine like stars. You don’t have to be a star. That’s what the world wants you to be. God wants you to reflect His LIGHT in a dark world.