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. Philippians 2:14-16

One of the most brilliant preachers of our time (my husband Mark) is also a bow hunter. He takes his sport very seriously, and carefully prepares for each hunting excursion. He wakes up at (cough!) 4:00 a.m., gets all decked out in his camouflage attire and even sprays some awful-smelling stuff on himself to cover his human scent. He wants to blend in with his surroundings, so he won’t be spotted by the deer.

On one such morning, as he waited quietly in his tree stand, he looked up at the stars. He was amazed at how, against the black night sky, each star shone brilliantly! He thought of the above verse, and Paul’s desire for his readers to shine like stars.

There is nothing wrong with a hunter trying to blend in with his surroundings. But there is a great deal wrong when we, as Christians, try to blend in with the world!

Far too often, we try to hide our faith, only pulling it out when we feel it is safe to do so. And far too often, our behavior doesn’t give any indication that we are any different from anyone else! We argue and fight, we use foul language, we cheat a little here and there … we blend right in with the world.

But we are called to stand out! We are called to shine like stars against a black sky. We are called to be lights to those who are stumbling in the darkness.

Just as travelers can find their way in the dark by looking at the sky, people can find God if we will show them the way. Let’s stop blending in, and start standing out – shining like stars in the universe.

Dear Father, I want to shine like the stars. Please let my life be a beacon in the darkness, pointing people to Your love.


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