Everyone appreciates light. It does not matter how small it may be. If it is shining, it can lead us out of darkness.
The Bible reminds us that God desires His children to shine in this present world! Philippians 2:14–16, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life….”
I believe as Christ-followers we would agree on the importance of letting our light so shine! But it is sad how many Christians have let their light dim. As we consider these verses, I believe they contain two practical principles to help keep our lives shining.
First, we are instructed to stop complaining. If anyone had reason to complain it was the Apostle Paul. He was in prison when he wrote the book of Philippians. His crime was faithfully preaching the gospel of Christ. Yet he amazingly writes to inform us that if we want our light to shine, we need to stop complaining.
Second, we are challenged to be “blameless and harmless.” Blameless is being free from fault. As a Christian, we will not live our lives without sin, but we should live our life without the dimming effect of sin. Here is a practical acrostic for the word shine that we can apply to our outreach:
S—Seek to Keep Your Relationship with the Lord Your Highest Priority
How can we faithfully share Christ with others if our relationship with Him is weak and in decline? Stay close and excited about the Lord, and sharing Him will flow much easier from your heart.
H—Humbly Yield Your Life to the Lord on a Daily Basis
We have to constantly yield our lives to His plan for us. One of His desires for our lives is to be an engaging witness for Him. For this to take place, we need to die to our desires and be dialed into His passion of people coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I—Initiate Relationships for the Sole Purpose of Sharing Christ
We need to establish new relationships with people for the purpose of sharing the gospel with them. Too often we get comfortable with the people we already know, and we fail to build new relationships because of our fear of being rejected. Take courage and walk across your office and become someone’s friend. Remember the stakes are huge. We are talking about Heaven and Hell!
N—Never Give up on People
We need to exercise patience with people. People need time to consider what we have shared with them. I have found that our tendency is to dismiss people too soon. If a person does not make a salvation decision in a two or three week period, we move on to the next prospect. I am sure my dad is thankful that people were patient with him. It was years before he fully understood the gospel and made a decision to accept Christ. People need time to digest the biblical teaching on salvation because most likely it contradicts everything they have ever known.
E—Encourage Yourself by Your Obedience in Going and Sharing the Gospel
Christians get discouraged in the area of witnessing. When discouragement comes, we are less eager to share the gospel. One way to stay encouraged is by not focusing on your results, but on your obedience. If I keep my focus on obedience, I am able to stay encouraged and I continue to look for those moments to share Christ. If you keep sharing, it is only a matter of time before you will be reaping!