This is the start of a five week series. This series will look at five places in the Bible where it gives a contrast between light and dark. We start with what is very much a theme verse for this series. 

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life (Philippians 2:14-16a).

Paul uses two words to describe the moral and spiritual darkness of our world:  

  1. Our world is warped…. The Greek word here also means twisted. God gives us good things and we like to twist them into something God never intended. 

  2. Our world is crooked…. This is basically a synonym for warped or twisted. It emphasizes that humanity takes the good gifts of God and perverts them. 

We must shine like stars in the darkness:

This means we do not retreat from the darkness. We live in the midst of darkness…. Stars shine brightest the darker it is. It's important for us to not hide from the darkness, but to illuminate it and spread the light. 

This means we do not just criticize darkness. We show the way in the darkness…. It's too easy for many of us to just see the evil in the world or bad things going on and just criticize it, condemn it, harp on it without showing people a better way with love. Instead of just pointing out the things that are wrong, we should also lovingly show the right way. We should reach out to those in need. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Help clean up after disasters. 

We shine like stars when there is nothing in our lives to cause people to criticize Christianity:

  1. Be blameless….. Nobody is perfect or without sin, but people can be blameless or above reproach. We should keep things that would prevent others from coming to Christ out of our lives. 

  2. Be pure… This applies to inner motives and character. It's important to have proper motives and good character. 

  3. Be without fault…. This doesn't mean perfect. It refers to the old animal sacrifices where they were supposed to give animals that didn't have any obvious defects. Don't have any obvious faults and flaws. 

Can you think of anything you need to change in your life to be those things? Here are two specific things we can do to shine like stars:

  1. Do everything without grumbling…. Grumbles do not tend to attract people or give good examples of the life of a Christian. It helps to avoid grumbling, especially when you are trying to be a witness of Christ, which should be our default and constant goal. 

  2. Do everything without arguing…. It's important to stick to our convictions, but sometimes arguing is not the way to win someone over to Christ. It's possible to win an argument and lose the person. We must be careful to remain respectful and compassionate. 

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't say this series title brought a certain classic NewsBoys song to mind.