Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)
Do you want to shine as a bright light in the world for me? Do you want people to be drawn to you? Would you like the opportunity to hold out the word of life to those who do not know me? Would you like to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name? Yes, to all the above. I want to shine like a bright light in the world so that people will be drawn to you. I want them to see that you are living in and through my life. I want to bring attention to you. I want to bring glory to your name. Yes, I want to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom. I don’t want my life to be about anything less than that. I want my life to have counted for all eternity. I do not want to someday find out that I lived my life in vain. I want you to lead me. I want you to guide me. I want you to use me to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. That’s what I knew you would say. That is what I am glad to hear you say. I’m glad this subject has been exhausted. Your questions and been asked and answered. Not yet. Not quite. Not so fast. We have more to talk about. Like what?
There is a major threat to your life being a bright witness for me in the world. There is something that you need to think about deeply. What’s that? You like to argue. You like to complain. That would be true. I have made arguing and complaining something close to a hobby of mine. If you want to shine brightly in the world for me that will need to stop. Why is that? You’ve seen plenty of arguers and complainers. Yes, I have. So, you would say that arguing and complaining is common place in the world? Yes, I would. How attractive are the people that argue and complain? How interested are you in being in the company of someone who is constantly arguing and complaining? I see where this headed. Tell me where this is headed. Arguing and complaining will tarnish and diminish my witness for you in the world. Arguing and complaining will make it impossible for me to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. That’s right. You got it. Will you stop arguing and complaining so you can hold out the word of life to others who do not know me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good. That is how I want to use you.
Lord, I have done plenty of arguing and complaining. I never gave it any thought that all my arguing and complaining might tarnish or diminish my witness for you in the world. Forgive me. Help me now, to hold out the word of life to those who do not know you. Amen
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