At HUB on Sunday we looked at Philippians 2:12-18. I get on kicks - having a favorite verse for a while. This verse started standing out to me when I was a freshman in college. I went with Furman RUF on spring break 2006 mission trip to Biloxi - the trip where I also "met" Matt. One morning for devotional we read this passage and verse 14 and 15 really stood out to me! It's been one of my favorites ever since, but this past year, after reading through it with my junior girls bible study, it has resurfaced and remained a verse I constantly turn over in my head. God has used it to shape my heart. God has used it to help me challenge others. Here's the passage...with 14 and 15 italicized and my favorite part bolded...
"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 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, 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 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. 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. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."
Look at this picture...what stands out to you...what is your eye drawn towards?
The star! Obviously! There's no way a random part of the black/darkness stood out. Everything else fades into the background when there's a star. Jesus was that star in the night sky....he still is. He is the way, the truth, and the life...he shines like a star in the universe. What does he call us to do - follow him and be stars. It's easy to fade into the background - easy to just be one of the crowd, doing what they do, being of the world, giving in to complaining and arguing. It's hard to be a star...but it's what we're called to be. Jesus said if He lives in us, then we are the light of the world. Everyone wants to be a star in their heart of hearts. People talk about wanting to make a difference and leaving a legacy. The challenge for our group as we head to Tuscaloosa this Friday, March 9th through Tuesday, March 13th is to shine like stars. There's only one way to do it - look to the brightest star of all, Jesus. On our own, we will fade into the background with complaining and arguing. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will be a reflection of Him, and we will shine like stars in the universe.