As lights in the world

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The Verse of the Day offers strong words of encouragement to the Philippian Church, supportive words that continue to speak to believers today:

Philippians 2:14-16 (AMPC):

Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.

In this series of exhortations regarding our behavior, we are first of all to “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.” We are to show ourselves as “blameless and harmless,” as Alford translates this section: “without either the repute of mischief, or the inclination to do it.”

In addition, believers are to “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” The expression “as lights in the world” has also been translated “as luminaries in the world,” as the sun and moon, “the lights,” or “great lights,” in the material world or in the firmament.

This passage brings to mind the words spoken by Jesus Christ to remind his followers that they are also to “let their lights so shine.” These words also express the same sentiments in this poetic reminder:

Light of the World

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on
a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp,
and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand;
and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

A call comes ringing. . .

The light that from creation split the dark
still shines today. The same sun that once graced
Eden’s green place still warms the earth each day.
Without the light there is no life, no hope
For growth, no power to live and give birth.
Without the light there is only the night
To swallow the land and smother all life.
Somewhere someone sits in darkness, crying. . . Send the light. . .

The love of Christ constrains us to go forth,
To shine as beacons and carry the love,
To offer shelter from stormy places,
To light the path of everyone who longs
To be at home within God’s family room. . .Send the light. . .

With torch held high, let us stand upon the Rock:
a lantern, a lampstand, a beacon, a lighthouse,
a city set on a hill that cannot be hid
Let it shine. . .

Though the darkness thickens, let our lights so shine.
Let us speak God’s Word and echo God’s voice that
First spoke light into being, commanding it to shine
So let it shine. . .
So let it shine. . . So let it shine . . . forever more.

This message is echoed in the New Scottish hymn: “Let your light shine in the darkness.”

As we continue holding out and offering to all men the Word of Life, we realize that in the day of Christ we will have something exultantly to rejoice and glory in, knowing that we did not run our race in vain nor did we spend our labor to no purpose.

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