I’ve been thinking about this verse recently:
‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV)
Let the amazing truth of this verse sink in:
God the Creator of light,
the Father of lights ( James1:17)
who spoke light into being
has sent His Son to be the Light of the world (John 8:12)
But also, He has shone His light into our hearts
that we might reflect Him.
The light-creating power of God is within us!
The God who created light, the sun, the moon & the stars has shone His light into us! The God who created the stars wants us to shine like them!
‘Shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life’
(Phil 2:15,16 NIV)
I asked Google, ‘What makes stars shine?’ The astro-physics baffled me, but basically it’s enormous energy from within!
So, if we are shining like the stars, it’s the light creating power of God is within us! It’s not really us that shines-it’s Him through us!
A few verses later Paul writes:
‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.’ ( 2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV)
It’s the powerful Light of the world in us that makes us shine! We can’t all be supernovas or shooting stars, lighting up the entire night sky in a blaze of glory! But we are to twinkle where we are at.
The old hymn simply states:
‘Jesus bids us shine…
You in your small corner
And I in mine’
It doesn’t matter much where your small corner to shine is located- whether it’s in an office, a hospital, a classroom, a shopping centre, a youth centre, or even & especially at home.
Jesus bids us shine.
We don’t need to compare ourselves to the superstar next door. We don’t need to wish (upon a star!) that we were in a different part of the sky-maybe closer to the Plough, or the North Star-where our twinkling might be admired by many more. For the God who determines the number of stars & calls them by name (Psalm 147:4, Isa 40:26), sees us shining where we are at. We always have the audience of One-the only One whose opinion matters
You are where you are at, not by mistake, or mishap-but by design, the ultimate Grand Design. Just as the stars shine in specific places in the night sky to form constellations, God has specifically placed us where He has chosen in time & space:
‘From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; & He determined the times set for them & the exact places they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him & perhaps reach out for Him & find Him, though He is not far from each one of us’ (Acts 17:26,27)
God has placed you where you are at, at this moment, for such a time as this, to shine. Your location & position in life is unique.
‘You are where you are for such a time as this- not to make an impression but to make a difference’ (Ann Voskamp)
What difference can we make?
The difference between darkness & light, night & day- all the difference in this world, & the next!
‘Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night’ Philippians 2:14-16 (MSG)
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)
‘You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world’ (Matt 5:14 MSG)
We are to be a rainbow of multicolour against the blackness of our sin-ravaged world.
So, ‘Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him’ (C S Lewis)