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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hold Out the Word of Life

Continuing the S.H.I.N.E. acrostic, "H" is Hold Out the Word of Life. Paul encouraged the church in Phillipi to hold out the word of life. Other versions say "hold fast to the word of life". What is the word of life? It is the message that brings life - which is the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. So, we should "hold on" to this truth in our own faith and also "hold it out" for others to see as we strive to "Shine Like Stars" in the universe.

How can we do this? By being different than the world. The text of Philippians 2:15 calls the world a crooked and depraved generation. Crooked means bent, not straight. Depraved is morally corrupt or perverted (KJV says perverse). As Christians, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the crooked and depraved mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:1-2 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." This is a daily activity and commitment.

Several years ago I came across this quote on my mom's bulletin board:

What we choose to do in our daily lives really does affect us and our thinking, even though we may not want to admit it. Also, the choices we make can have an impact on our ability to hold out the word of life (the Good News of Jesus) to others.

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