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Sunday, October 10, 2010

What About the Stars?

The other day I was thinking about the stars and then began to think about the theme verse of this blog, Philippians 2:14-15, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."


As Christians we're to "Shine Like Stars", so I was thinking about characteristics of the stars.  When I went to the NASA website it was interesting to see that stars have five characteristics:  brightness, color, surface temperature, size, and mass (amount of matter).  Can these characteristics tell Christians anything about living our lives "shining as stars"?  I think they can.  Let's see!

1.  BRIGHTNESS
Just as stars shine in various degrees of brightness, Christians "shine" in various degrees as well.  Differently, but each one shining in an important way.  As Christians, we all have different jobs, different abilities, different talents....but each person is important in God's kingdom.  Yes, some jobs or talents are more "seen" by others, but that doesn't make the person more important. Through the blood of Jesus we form the one body....the church.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 
Romans 12:3-5

2. COLOR
Who knew that stars had different colors?  I sure didn't! NASA states that stars vary in colors from yellowish, blueish, and reddish.  Interesting!  So, in our Christian life, of course we all have varying degrees of actual skin color...depending on our ethnicity, but let's think of "color" having to do with the brightness of our light.

As Christians we are to let our lights shine.  But, just like real stars sometimes are hidden by clouds, sometimes we let things get in the way where our lights aren't shining like they should.  We have to get rid of the "stuff" that gets in the way of our lights shining.  By serving others, working in a way that glorifies God, and taking the time to tell others about Jesus, we are not only living as "shining stars", but we are also pointing others in the same direction.  

"You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 
Matthew 5:14-16

3.  SURFACE TEMPERATURE
Stars are hot...very hot... but, they vary in degrees of "hotness".

Christians vary in degrees, also.  We may be cold.  Maybe our desire for serving God is gone.  Maybe something got in the way of our shining light and eventually our light went out.  Or maybe we're kind of on fire for God, but it just depends.  Sometimes we are.  Sometimes we're not.  We're lukewarm.  But maybe we're totally on fire for God and Jesus!  Maybe we are letting our lights shine brightly, and we're completely committed to Him. That's what God and Jesus want from us - our total commitment.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:15-16


4.  SIZE
Stars vary greatly in size.  The variation in size and temperature determines the stars' brightness. 

When one first becomes a Christian, they are described as "babes".  We may know the elementary teachings of Christ - described as "milk" - but don't fully know about the Bible.  But, eventually the Christian will mature....or at least we should mature.  The mature Christian will move on to "solid food".  In both 1st Corinthians and Hebrews, we read of the early Christians who had some trouble with maturing.  

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?  
1 Corinthians 3:1-3

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
Hebrews 5:11-13

5.  MASS (Amount of matter)
The mass of a star refers to the amount of matter it has or basically it's density.  A definition of density is "the degree to which something is filled".  

As Christians, our lives can be consumed by all sorts of things - physical and material things or spiritual things.  Idolatry is often spoken about in the Bible.  Idolatry is anything put in place of God or in front of God.  As Christians we must guard our lives so that nothing becomes more important than God and Jesus in our lives.  In everything we do, we must keep God and Jesus first.....or I like to look at it as keeping Him in the center of our lives and everything else to the outside.  Our lives should be filled up with God, with Jesus, with His Word, and by being a part of His church....the church Jesus died for.

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.
Romans 12:1-2

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:25-27

Using these star characteristics we can "Shine Like Stars".

So SHINE, Christian - SHINE!

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