. . . in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world . . . Philippians 2:15 ESV
We use lights to make other things clear. Christians should so shine in their lives that other people could not live near them for a week without knowing the gospel. Our way of life should make it obvious to those around us who we belong to and who we serve. The image of Jesus should be reflected in our daily actions. Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are still in the dark. We are to hold out the Word of life to them. We are to point sinners to the Savior, and the weary to a divine resting place. People sometimes read their Bible without understanding it; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct them in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness (see Acts 8:26–40). Lights are also used for warning. On the rocks and shoals, a lighthouse is sure to be built. Christians should recognize that there are many false lights in the world, so the right light is needed. The marauders of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin in the name of pleasure. They raise the wrong light, so it is our responsibility to put up the true light on every dangerous rock, to point out every sin and tell where it leads. Then we will be innocent of the blood of all people, as we shine like lights in the world. Finally, lights also have a very encouraging influence—and so do Christians. Christians ought to be comforters, with kind words on their lips and sympathy in their hearts. We should carry sunshine wherever we go, and spread happiness all around us.
-C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening.
Nothing you could ever experience, no matter how terrible or frightening, could ever separate you from the love of God. No tribulation and distress you might ever suffer could be so intense that God's love for you is not even more fervent. - Blackaby
In some measure of sense these two parts of my devotionals tie together.
We are in a war, a Spiritual war, but even in war there are times when a break is to be had, where a temporary peace is enjoyed.
To be the reflection of the Light, of Jesus Christ, also attracts those who imitate light. Namely Satan and his minions. To state that it wouldn't potentially be a painful experience wouldn't be telling the truth.
Life isn't always going to be a bed of roses. Life is life, a series of ups and downs. Valleys and peaks to cross. Paying bills. Fixing things. Hobbies. Families. Friends. Even enemies. Joy. Illnesses, traffic, emotional pain. Physical pain. That's life in a sin cursed world.
When you come to Christ, He promises life...more abundant. Higher highs and lows than you ever thought possible. That you ever thought you could or would live through. But...you are never alone.
In this world of reflected light from The Light of Christ in us versus the fake light of His enemy, we who face such things prove who is true and real.
It happens every day. The proving of what is real versus what is not. In Christ we are not to rely on only ourselves. But rather rely on Jesus to guide and direct our lives.
With it will come friction. With it will come persecution. The world around us is still in darkness. Realize what has been described so far. The world is seeing only two kinds of Spiritual beings. Those in the light of Christ and those mimicking light through Satan. Scripture says that he disguises himself as an angel of light.
Now realize what kind of people are here. People who are not in the light have always been in darkness. Remember what it's like upon waking up to a super bright sunrise? It hurts your eyes. The revelation of the real world around you as it is exposed to the truth of the light hurts.
It is painful. Many insects will scatter and try to hide from light. Many people will too. There are those who are angry with God about not accepting their lives, as they are now revealed to be living. There are those who are not angry with God but cannot accept that there's anything wrong with their lives. But they weep in His presence because He won't accept them in that state.
Both are in need of Salvation but both have rejected Christ. The hope, the only hope, is that while there is still the breath of life in them...is that they would come to the knowledge of the truth. That they would see their need for Salvation and come to Christ to ask for it. Once such people die, there is no hope. It's gone.
But where this is going is this, when you are a Christian, a Christ follower, expect friction. Expect people to have a problem with you. Jesus said they hated Me, they will hate you too. But in the midst of living life, remember, that NOTHING can separate you from the love of God. Nothing. You may win some you may lose some. But the truth is we already won it all. This world is not my home. We are just visiting until either we are called home or Jesus returns.
We have overwhelmingly conquered through Christ. Scripture says so.
We are in the hands of Jesus. Nothing reaches us that He hasn't allowed or required to reach us. If that's not enough Jesus is in the Father's hands.
But let's go back a little. Nothing reaches us that He hasn't allowed or required to reach you.
He is the potter, we are the clay. There's times when reworking a material where things need to happen directly, like using tools to intentionally do work of removing or adding or shaping. There's other times where it's required to allow parts to be exposed in order to gain a specific set of results. Resins take time and exposure to be able to be shaped or formed. Crafting requires tools to shape and remove things.
Our lives are all about that.
We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus. We are a new creation. Once we come to Christ our old garments are taken away. We are washed, cleaned, given new garments to wear. Work is done to make us into the image of Christ that was God's desire long ago with Adam.
There's going to be pleasant weather and not so pleasant weather. That is life.
But remember dear reader, nothing will ever separate you from the love of God.
Nothing. Life will have joy and pain. But nothing will ever separate you from God.
To believe so is to believe a lie. It's to believe that when Jesus said it was Finished that it must not have been. Salvation had nothing to do with us. Jesus did it all.
Jesus loves you and promised never to leave you or forsake you
He always keeps His promises.