Shining as Lights in the World

Philippians 2:14-16 ESV

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

Grumbling and Disputing

So, we are to do all things without grumbling (murmuring, muttering, and complaining against God) or disputing (back-and-forth reasoning that is self-based, centered in the rights of self). The context appears to be primarily with regard to our obedience to the Lord. We should not murmur against God and against his directives for our lives. We should not dispute with God with regard to his commands and to his instructions to us.

This is not saying that we should never protest or object to or be upset with false teaching, with lies, and with liars, or with deliberate and habitual sin permeating the church and causing the moral and spiritual downfall of the church. For the Scriptures teach that we are to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and that we are to speak out against sin and false teaching, and that we are to warn of the consequences of unrepentant sin.

We should also not murmur against the Lord nor should we dispute with him over our circumstances, accusing him of wronging us, or complaining that he is not doing right by us when things go bad, which they sometimes will. For God never promised us “smooth sailing.” He promised us persecution, false accusations, false arrests and imprisonments, people hating and rejecting us, and even our family members or our fellow Christians turning against us.

So, instead of murmuring against and disputing with the Lord because we don’t like our circumstances or how we are treated, we should bring these things to the Lord in prayer, in humility before him, in tears, where tears will flow, cry them out to him, and let him teach us what we need to learn through them, which one thing is that God is sovereign over our lives and so nothing touches us but what God allows it for a purpose.

So, instead of griping and complaining, we need to see what the Lord wants to teach us through our difficulties, and then submit to him and to his will, and willingly accept his sovereignty over our lives, no matter what comes. We must acknowledge and accept that God is in control over all things and that he knows what we need, and that even discipline is for our good, which involves pain, but it is for our maturity in our walks of faith in Christ.

And one more thing on this subject is that we all have to guard against complaining about the little stuff. I know I have to guard against this stuff. It is the little stuff that I have to watch. The big stuff, well it kind of smacks us in the face and we can’t miss it, so we consciously are more aware of it and of our responses. But it is those little things, like our food not being exactly to our liking. Those are the kinds of things I have to watch my attitude on.

Blameless and Innocent

This is not saying that we will be absolutely sinless and perfect, although lack of perfection is certainly not a viable excuse for deliberate and habitual sin against God and against other humans. But if we do all things without grumbling against and disputing with God, we will be blameless and innocent of opposing the Lord and of fighting against him, and we will be those who are submitting to him and who are walking in obedience to him.

We will also be those who are not blemished by sinful rebellion and by disobedience, but we will be those who shine as lights, representing Jesus Christ and his righteousness and holiness, in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, in which we are presently in the midst. And this is not saying that those of us who shine as lights are absolutely perfect people, but it should mean that we are not deliberately and habitually living in sin.

For we can’t live in sin and walk in righteousness at the same time. We can’t shine as lights in a crooked generation if we are still walking in darkness. We need to be walking in the light as God is in the light if we are going to be able to shine as lights in the midst of this present crooked and twisted generation. And we need to be walking in obedience to our Lord and living upright, godly, morally pure, honest and trustworthy lives.

And we need to hold fast the word of life, and this has to do with us believing the Scriptures and what they teach us who are in Christ, by faith in him, and then we need to be doing what the Scriptures teach Christians they must do. And we need to be having the mindset of Christ and not of the flesh, and desire our Lord to do his will, and then we can share with others how they can walk in obedience to the Lord Jesus, too.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

You are Loving and Forgiving

An Original Work / February 19, 2012
Based off Psalm 86

You are loving and forgiving,
Jesus, Savior, King of kings.
You provided our redemption.
By Your blood You set us free.
You are gracious; full of mercy.
No deeds can compare with Yours.
Great are You; there is none like You.
Glory be to Your name.

Teach me Your way, and I’ll walk in it.
O Lord, I will walk in Your truth.
May I not have a heart divided,
That Your name I give honor to.
I will praise You, O Lord, my Savior,
For great is Your love toward me.
You have delivered me from my sins.
Your grace has pardoned me.

You, O Lord, are full of compassion,
Slow to anger, bounteous in love;
Faithful to fulfill all You promise;
Glory be to Your name above.
Hear, O Lord, and answer Your servant.
You are my God. I trust in You.
Turn to me and grant Your strength to me.
You are my comforter.

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