Saturday, March 28, 2015



that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world….  (Philippians 2:15)

A demonic darkness has descended upon America.  Daily, it seems, we hear of the most horrific crimes that are committed.  Dope, debauchery, drunkenness, devil worship—all this and more has enslaved millions.  The evil of sin is decimating our nation, destroying our families, and defiling our churches.  What are we to do?  Enough hand-wringing!  Our response is clear according to Scripture!  Paul admits to the reality of the darkness—it is “a crooked and perverse generation.”  So, let your light shine!

Paul speaks of THE LIGHT OF CONTENTMENT (Phil.2:14).  You must keep the wick of an oil lamp trimmed or it becomes hard and gives off more smoke than light.  A spirit of discontent hardens our heart and disputes smoke up the church with a foul odor and dim the light.  Contentment, on the other hand, is an attitude that brightens the room!  Don’t argue with Paul about, “If you knew what I was going through…if you knew how people have treated me…” because he was writing these words from a dark prison cell, suffering what he did not deserve!  Yet, the whole letter is brimful of joy and the Apostle exults, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  (4:11b)  Have you?

There is also THE LIGHT OF CONSECRATION (Phil.2:15a).  For an oil lamp to shine, you must keep the globe clean.  Consecration is about the cleansing of sin that comes from confession.  It is a regular need, for we all at some point or another succumb to temptation.  We can be wiped clean again through repentance.  God calls us to be blameless—where no one can point to a scandalous sin that contradicts our claims as the children of God.  We are to be harmless—and the word means, “for real,” so sinners cannot call us hypocrites.  If we are to bring others to the light, then we must be clean.

Next, we note THE LIGHT OF COMPASSION (Phil.2:15b-16).  An oil lamp requires fuel!  Compassion is the oil in the lamp of our testimony.  Paul had a burning heart to reach the lost.  Even in prison, his compassion brought a compulsion to win souls to Christ (read Phil.1:12-14).  People are sailing on the storm-tossed seas of sin—in the darkness of deception drawing ever closer to shipwreck on the rocks of God’s wrath.  Their only hope to make safe harbor is for the church to be a lighthouse and where there are those already sinking in sin—throw them the life-preserver of “the word of life.”

In conclusion, we need THE LIGHT OF COMMITMENT (Phil.2:16b-18).  You may have your wick trimmed, the globe clean, and oil in the lamp, but there is one more requirement—a flame to ignite it!  Commitment is the spark for our witness.  Paul had such a commitment to Christ and His commission for him that he saw himself as a sacrifice—a drink offering poured out on the altar.  He was running the race to win and laboring to receive an eternal reward.  God wants us to be productive—and reach our world.  Let us seek Paul’s passion and emulate his pattern lest our race and our labor be, “in vain” (v.16).  The darker the world, the more our light is needed—and effective!

No comments: