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Let it Shine! Let it Shine! (11 of 20)
Series: Forever Living in a Whatever World
The pictures of space that we can see today are totally amazing, especially of earth. Your grandparents and their parents before them could never have imagined what we can see. A giant blue marble--the kids call it. I think the most amazing picture is this view of earth at night. Vast spans of darkness punctuated with the lights of cities and factories!
That picture of a world of darkness interspersed with isolated patches of light provides the perfect illustration for the heart of our text. "You shine like stars in the universe . . . in a crooked and depraved generation." Those words come in the middle of our passage, but everything revolves around this image. Those who first heard this passage two thousand years ago knew the text wasn't talking about astronomy and outer space. It was painting a picture of the influence a Christian believer can have in a dark world often filled with doubt and unbelief.
Our text isn't the first time we come across this idea in the Bible. Jesus taught the same thing. "You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world," he told his disciples. Those words are the basis of that song we all sang when we were little, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, NO! I'm gonna let it shine." Our text, however, ups the ante. It is not candles or little lights we are called to be. It is stars, great big, huge shining stars that flood the night sky with light.
Every one of you wants that. You want to make a positive difference in your world. You want to make a difference at home, at school, at work. Every parent and grandparent aches to influence his or her young. Most of us want to be salt and light in our neighborhoods and community.
The question is how. What's it take to shine like stars? How c ...
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