Summary: As disciples of Jesus we are called to shine like stars in this dark world
Daring to Shine
September 3, 2006
One summer my brother and I went on our annual fishing trip to Lake Erie and one of the side trips that we made was to an old lighthouse. The lighthouse had been used to signal ships to avoid the shoreline and to make their way to the nearby port. The lighthouse gave direction and guidance for all of the ships that traveled that area.
Modern lighthouses project light rays produced by incandescent lamps. The light is concentrated and projected by a series of revolving lenses. The type of lens most frequently used in the past was the dioptric lens, or Fresnel lens, which consisted of a central glass disk, surrounded by concentric glass rings that gradually decrease in thickness as they recede from the center. When a series of dioptric lenses, alternated with straight refracting prisms, is placed on a revolving frame with a lamp at its center, it produces a flash for each lens at each revolution of the frame.
It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. Lighthouses do not ring bells and fire cannon to call attention to their shining-they just shine. – D. L. Moody
14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Our lives are meant to be examples to those around us. We are to shine the light of God that rests within us. We are to show the light and the love of Christ to others. We shine not to glorify ourselves but to bring more glory to God. We are to live our lives as beacons against the spiritual darkness that invades this world. We are to stand against the night and show the world that there is hope in Jesus.
If you have your Bibles with you this morning, please open them to the book of Philippians 2:12-18
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 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 16 as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:12-18
I. Dare to work out your salvation (12-13)
How many of you either have a daily work out plan or know someone who does?
Each day some people have a routine of doing some form of exercise. Some either walk or jog in their neighborhood. Others go to the gym and use special equipment to work out. All of this is to improve physical strength, endurance and abilities.
We are also meant to have spiritual work outs as well. Paul says to work out your salvation. There are times when this phrase has been misinterpreted so let’s look at what Paul is NOT saying first.
1.) Paul is not saying that we can somehow earn salvation
There is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn our salvation. Paul himself said that if righteousness could be gained through the Law Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21) There is no way to do anything that makes you worthy of being saved.
2.) Paul is not saying that there is anything more needed for salvation
Christ is the source of salvation. There is nothing else needed other than faith in Jesus to gain salvation. When I first came to Christ there were a lot of things that needed His work. I had a lot of rough edges that needed to be worked off. Even though I was saved I still needed to grow.
When Paul speaks of work it is not our working for salvation but rather because of it. Once we accept Christ, we often have growing left to do. The word for work out literally means to complete, to finish or to accomplish. The work of salvation is not just to get us to heaven but to make us more like Jesus. Each day we need to be striving to grow more and more like Him.