“ …that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” – Philippians 2:15
God chose you and has separated you from the rest of the world.
He has a special plan for your life and wants to use you mightily to bring other people to Him. (Matthew 28:19)
When you take a stand against anything that contradicts His Word, you’re not only showing your allegiance and obedience to Him.
You’re also shining a light of truth for all to see.
When you love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you.
When you chose to abstain from sexual immorality and take a stand for righteousness sake.
When you refuse to be under the influence and power of drugs and alcohol.
When you swallow your pride and walk in humility.
And when you surrender your life to Jesus completely.
People do notice.
Believe it or not, people are always watching you.
Just like light reflects off the sun to shine from the moon, Jesus wants to reflect His light in this world by shining through you.
Nonbelievers want to see what being a Christian is all about and if your declaration of faith is genuine.
When you chose to shine, you’re showing others who Jesus Christ really is and why they should follow Him too.
Did you know that your actions influence unbelievers, and their overall perception of Christ Himself?
Think about it.
If Christians are doing everything the non-Christians are doing, why would they change their ways and follow Christ?
The sad thing is, they wouldn’t.
When Christians give in to the ways of this fallen world and conform to it, lives are destroyed.
Not only their lives, but the lives of those around them too.
Does Your Light Shine or Was it Blown Out?
The standard of our culture should not be our standard.
I’ve heard of “Christians” who use drugs and get drunk with or around their kids.
I’ve heard of “Christians” who have actually watched pornography or rated R movies with their kids.
I’ve heard of “Christians” who’ve allowed their kids to spend the night with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
I’ve heard of “Christians” who support abortion and gay marriage.
I’ve heard of “Christians” who still live like the non-believers in this fallen world.
It’s one thing to willfully live a life of sin and immorality.
But it’s another thing to willfully live a life of sin and immorality and proclaim to be a Christian.
The key to Christianity is living a life that lines up with the Word of God, not the social and cultural norms of the world.
When God is clear about an issue, we need to be clear about it too.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” – Proverbs 14:12
Morality isn’t based on feelings or opinions. It’s based on God’s infallible Word – the Bible.
In God’s eyes, homosexuality, pornography, adultery, and sex outside of marriage are not acceptable. (Galatians 5)
Abortion is never justifiable and is actual murder. (Exodus 20:13)
Putting anything or anyone else before God is idolatry. (Deuteronomy 8:19)
And, we are to raise our children in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
How we conduct ourselves in public or in private needs to reflect Jesus Christ.
As Christians, we’re to seek God’s will not our own and follow Him completely.
This is what it means to surrender your life to Jesus Christ.
As Galatians 2:20 exhorts us, “ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We’re called to be Christ’s examples here on earth so we need to let go of this world along with any sin that keeps us chained down to it.
Does That Mean We Have to Be Perfect?
No! The only perfect person who walked this earth was Jesus Christ.
Until we get to heaven, we will struggle with our sin nature and be tempted to sin.
That’s because we all fall short of God’s laws and standards. (Romans 3:12)
But there’s a difference between occasionally failing short and choosing to live a life of sin and disobedience.
“A person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a life of sin is not a Christian at all.” – gotquestions.org
“The difference between a sinning unbeliever and a sinning believer is that one loves his sin while the other hates it. The believer who stumbles in his walk with the Lord regrets it, confesses it, wishes to never do it again and seeks to appropriate God’s power and grace to avoid it. He doesn’t consider how much he can sin and still be considered a Christian. Rather, he considers how he can avoid even the appearance of sin in the future.” – gotquestions.org
The Bible is clear that repentance is always necessary to receive forgiveness. (Acts 3:17-19)
When a Christian sins, they’re to immediately go to God in humility and confess it.
They’re to repent of their sin, making the choice to lean on God’s strength to resist it.
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 (NLT)
Christians are not to willfully do it again and again because sin is a big deal to God.
Sin is such a big deal, that even one sin is enough to keep someone out of heaven!
“The Bible says that if you have broken one point of the law, you are guilty of all of them…That is where Jesus comes in. Because He died on the cross for all your sins.” – Pastor Greg Laurie
As a Christian, you’ve accepted God’s free gift of salvation.
And are called to share that free gift of salvation with others.
When you’re a Christian you’re no longer just another face in the crowd.
You’ve been given the amazing opportunity of shining the light of Jesus Christ for all to see.
Non-believers are incapable of obedience to God, but not you as a Christian. (Matthew 19:26)
That’s because you’re no longer a slave to sin, but a born-again child of God!
So if you’re struggling with sin or having a hard time shining the light, be encouraged.
Remember that you’re not hopeless—you don’t need to live a life of defeat and misery.
Philippians 4:13 says you, “…can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength!”
With Jesus Christ there is victory!
He can change your desires and deliver you from any temptation you’re not strong enough to resist.
And, He can give you the supernatural strength you need to wholeheartedly follow Him.
As a Christian, your children, family, friends, co-workers, peers, and complete strangers are all watching you.
Will they be influenced to follow Christ, or will they be influenced to follow the crowd?
The choice is up to you.