Everyone has choices. The most important decision anyone can ever make is whether or not they will choose to follow the Lord or to follow the world. This was made so plain and clear to me recently, during a small group meeting as we discussed John chapter 3. What do we all think of when that reference is mentioned? Easily one of the most popular Bible verses. John 3:16. But just past that, the text reveals something that struck me so clearly.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
Whether it’s by a conscious decision or a careless indifference – we all make the choice between light and darkness. That got me thinking about what are the differences between living for the light and in the light, rather than loving the darkness. How do we know that we are choosing the light?
I’m sure that a more educated scholar could expound on this in a more detailed manner, but the first verse that came to mind when thinking of the light and living as a light in the world was Philippians 2:14-16:
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Break It Down
Two phrases really jump out at me:
Do all things without complaining and disputing – well, that right there is probably enough to stop most of us in our tracks. Another translation says “without grumbling or arguing.” Ouch. I am pretty sure I grumbled before I even got out of bed this morning! Let’s think for a moment about that political argument on Facebook – worth it? Really? Were you a light, holding fast to the word of life, or were you just another grumbling voice?
Among whom you shine as lights in the world – Yes! I want to be a light to our dark, often scary world. If there is ever a time that the world needs to see the light that is the goodness of God, shining through His people, it’s now!
How do we really incorporate this into our daily lives and into the hearts of our children?
First – memorize! Philippians 2:14-16 is a set of verses that needs to be written deep into our hearts and minds. Homeschool moms, this is great copy work. Want a ready-to-go version for your fridge or mirror? Download one here!
Second – get practical. This cannot just be a mantra for when things are going great or a trend for the month of November. The opposite or grumbling and complaining is thankfulness and joy. So express those things and share them with your children. Use some of those adorable Pinterest ideas throughout the year. Make a thankful tree, write lists, smile at the cashier when you’re in a rush, hold the door open for someone – remember, even the smallest light looks amazingly bright in a dark room.
Third – get out. I’m a huge advocate for sharing the needs of the world around us with our children. There are so many opportunities for volunteering throughout even the smallest community. Salvation Army bell ringers are always needed, food pantries always need help with shelf stocking, I could go on and on.
Make your choices today, and make it count for His Kingdom. We only get one chance at this thing called life and we all want it to matter for something. Make it matter by impacting those around you, by being a light and by demonstrating His love to those around you.