Meant to Shine
As people who have been set free by the blood of Christ, we are meant to shine. There should be a glory about those who know Jesus. But grumbling will always obscure that glory. Although it’s a children’s song, these lyrics should always resonate with us:
Come leave your house on Grumble Street
And move to Sunshine Square,
For that’s the place where Jesus lives,
And all is sunshine there.
It is vital for Christians to have a solid grasp of the reality that because of Jesus, we have been cleansed from the guilt and stain of sin. We have remarkable freedom in Christ, and through the Spirit’s indwelling we experience both that freedom and the hope it provides amid life’s chaos and in a world that rejects Christ. The gospel is not just a starting point for our faith; it is the whole point. And the Lord kindly provides constant reminders of the truth that we are His children so that we can progress in our walk with Him.
Our standing in Christ is unalterable. Once we’ve been adopted into His family, God will never loosen His grip on our souls. During our best week, we are no closer to God than during our worst week, because our standing with the Father is built upon Christ’s righteousness, not ours. We are put right with God not on account of something done by us or from within us but for us.
As Martin Luther said, in one way, the gospel is all outside of us. If we constantly look within to see how well we’re doing, we’ll feel as if we have no standing before God. But when we realize that God’s eternal purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son, and that the ongoing process of obeying Christ enables that very thing, we will begin to experience the Spirit-empowered joy that God so graciously provides. When that happens, we will find ourselves with far less cause to complain!
We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, because it’s God’s good work in us that allows us to live for His pleasure and, in doing so, for our joy and contentment (Philippians 2:12-13). As we do so, we learn to truly shine—and others will then see Christ through us. So, what do you find yourself grumbling about? Has the glory of being a child of God grown cold to you? Today, when you realize you are about to grumble, whether in your own heart or to someone else, instead turn those words into ones of gratitude for all that the Lord has done, and is doing, for you. Then you will shine.
The Sermon on the Mount
1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons1 of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that2 they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
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