A few weeks ago I preached a message from Philippians 2:12-18. In this passage, the Apostle Paul admonishes the Philippian believers to "appear as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15). Time would not permit me to say all I wished about this passage, but especially this verse. Here are 2 ways we can let our lights shine in the midst of a dark world who so desperately needs to see the light of Christ and know the love of Jesus...
1. Live a consistent life of Christian character.
It's been said that character is who you are when no one else is around. It's the real you. Often our character shines forth when we have a slip of the tongue in the office because our boss has upset us. Our character speaks loudly when our children have pushed us to the limit and we respond with anger and outrage. Perhaps it's the "real" you that shines forth when you're not with your "church" friends. Who are you? Do you live a life consistent with the Bible's description of a follower of Jesus? Paul gives us a great check list in Galatians 5:22-23. We know this as the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the character traits that should mark our life if we are going to "appear as lights in the world."
2. Don't become distracted by things of the world.
In this same verse Paul instructs believers–"prove yourself to be blameless and innocent, children of God...." The key here is "children of God." These are contrasted in Eph. 2:3 with "children of wrath." It's pretty simple–you are either a child of God or you are not a child of God. You are either a son/daughter of God or of Satan. Children of God remember who their Father is and are not distracted or pulled away by things of this world. In fact, Paul describes the world as "a crooked and perverse generation." This is the complete opposite to our calling as children of God. Peter reminds us that as followers of Jesus we are a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation; a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).
Sure there are lots more ways to let our light shine for Christ. However, if we'll start with these two, we'll be well on our way to living as shining stars in a dark world.