Friday, March 30, 2012

Daily Devotion for Friday, March 30, 2012

Scripture Reading for today: Philippians 2:12-18

Key Verse for Today: Philippians 2:15b-16a, "Among these people (crooked and corrupt) you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life."

Paul wrote these words a long time ago.  The church grew and spread across the Mediterranean World largely because they were true.  What does it mean to shine like stars?  What does it mean to hold on to the word of life?

With the decline of Christianity in Europe and now the United States, will our faith shrink to a voice that has no power to shape our culture?  Some would argue that it already has.  I beg to differ.

There are many faithful Christians in the world today that hold on to the word of life.  And they do so in many different ways.

As a child, I remember our 5th grade Sunday school teacher.  He was a big guy who was there every week.  We were not the easiest class to teach.  We were on the 3rd floor and the windows opened to the parking lot. Many a paper airplane constructed from worship bulletins was launched from that window.  

1988 was the year
they began to use plastic
jars instead of glass.

Once before class, when we were having a food drive, we were inspecting all of the food that had been collected so far.  While holding onto a jar of peanut butter, I dropped it.  The glass jar shattered (yes, it was a long time ago) but the peanut butter held it together.  So we carefully placed it back in the boxes of food, thinking that if they were really hungry, they might go ahead and use it.

Our teacher came in and did discover it.  However, he didn't yell or call us idiots or irresponsible.  He seemed disappointed and said, "We can't give that" and promptly threw it away.  I felt like I let him down and I learned more about compassion for others than if he had raged at us.  I began to care about the hungry because he cared about them.  He shone like a star.  He held on to the word of life.

I think Earth Wind and Fire wrote Shining Star with this scripture in mind.  I don't have any proof but it fits for me: 

                 So if you find yourself in need
                 Why dontcha listen to these words of heed
                 Be a giant, or grain of sand
                 Words of wisdom - "Yes, I can"

Elijah once prayed to God how he was the only faithful person left.  God informed him that there were 7,000 left who were faithful.  In essence, God was saying, "There is the perfect number left for me to do what needs to be done."  

You are likely a part of the perfect number of faithful that God needs to work with to do what needs to be done today.  So hold on to the word of life.  You never know who will see you shining!

Breath prayer: Light of Christ, shine through me.

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