Caught in the Middle? Shine Your Light!
Let us review God's call to the church to be missional beyond her doors into the community and to the "uttermost parts of the earth" through missions partners. Philippians 2:14-16 reminds us that we are to be bright lights or light fixtures for the Light. Our light is to be shining "in the world in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation." Greg heard a preacher recently say that we like going to church as a light show. We believers shine our lights at each other, and feel good about the show with all those "spiritual" spot lights. God calls us to shine His light also in the middle of this dark world as individuals, not just as a church "set on a hill, that cannot be hid," So let your light shine in personal proximity to this perverted world.
God also calls us to shine clearly, not clouded. This calls for ethical clarity so that our testimony does not confuse the world's view of our Savior. We are not "crooked" representatives if we will avoid complaining and disputing, as we strive to become known as blameless, harmless, children of God without fault. I read of a lady who went to church on Mother's Day who had the corona virus. She exposed about 180 people to the virus. This was not the loving thing to do, and when this information went out to the news media, the believer's ethics were questioned.
Finally, remember that to shine this eternal light, we must pray for a missional intensity with "intentionality." It takes a lot of strength to shine brightly, gripping the truth tightly. The devil is intense against you, so be intense right back at him. The devil presents himself as an angel of light, so the world needs our "true light which lights every man coming into the world." When we fail the Lord, it is very difficult to start shining again. Don't forget that the righteous man falls seven times and rises up again. That is poetry that teaches us to get up, confess sin, and shine for Christ again. The person who shines brightly is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, the one who never fails; but rather the one who moves forward again in spite of past failures. Today, say to God, "your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path."