“Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world—holding forth the Word of Life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.”
Although our “light” (influence, witness) may be weak, it’s still better than no light at all.
Picture yourself in a crowded room with no windows when the electricity goes out. Everyone immediately begins to panic and someone cries, “Does anyone have a light?” You do—either a small penlight or cigarette lighter. The question is, “Will you let your light shine or keep it hidden in your pocket?”
Or, imagine yourself deep down in the bowels of the earth with several other folks. You’re all spelunkers and enjoy exploring those deep caverns. There’s a cave-in and the falling rocks smash everyone’s headlights. A few of your friends are injured—and it’s only then that they begin to cry out, “Did anyone bring a backup battery? I forgot mine!” You forgot yours, too, but did remember to bring a small emergency candle. Will you pull it out and begin singing “This little light of mine; I’m going to let it shine” as you light it to their delight and relief?
Oh, dear Pilgrim, those are simple—yea, even seemingly trite—illustrations, but they capture the essence and urgency set forth in today’s Manna. Written in response to Who Jesus is and what He came to do (vv.5-11), they remind us of our purpose here on earth: “To fulfill our role as sons of God and salt/light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.”
No one would dispute that stars don’t shine as brightly as the sun or moon; yet, they still have a unique place in the heavens. And, as we now know, their light seems dim because they are so far away; however, how dark the night would be if they weren’t there as sparkling diamonds on a backdrop of black velvet! And, their twinkling beauty also reminds us of the Glory of God (Ps. 8), as should ours! Again, our light may be small in comparison to others, but it’s still better than no light at all!!
That’s why we should “do all things without murmuring (grumbling, complaining) and disputing (Grk. ‘dialogismos’—‘heated debate, doubtful imagination, to be cast down in mind, etc.’).” If the Lord was displeased with such conduct by the Israelites in the wilderness, He’s also displeased with it in the Church today.
Truly, we should be “blameless (Grk. ‘amemptos’—‘irreproachable, faultless, etc.’) and harmless (Grk. ‘akeraios’—‘unmixed, pure, simple, innocent, unmingled, etc.’) without rebuke (Grk. ‘amomos’—‘unblemished, spotless, flawless, not disgraceful, etc.’)” in our conduct and conversation. Instead of constantly criticizing others and complaining about this and that, we should “hold forth the Word of Life,” pointing others to Jesus.
Is your “light shining” today, Pilgrim? Are you letting it shine or cursing the darkness? Grieve not the Holy Spirit or do little to help those still in darkness. Let your light shine—and do all you can to make sure it grows brighter and brighter until Jesus comes.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 24, 2009