We’re called to be different! But when it comes to how you respond to circumstances, tests, trials, the state of our nation, economy or politics … are you whining or shining? And why does it matter?
Isaiah 17 & 18
2 Corinthians 5.1-21
Are You Whining or Shining?
Isaiah 17 & 18:
A Remnant … Whining or Shining?
In these chapters God through the prophet continues to warn of coming judgments, but reminds them there will always be a faithful remnant (Is. 18.6).
Philippians 2.14-15 says we are to:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that [we] may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (emp. added).
How’s your light? Is it bright and clear? Is it dim and hidden by junk (sin or the cares of this world)? Or do you just whine and complain like everyone else?
If we are going to give hope to a lost and dying world, even in the midst of discouraging times and setbacks, we must point to the only source of real hope. Our hope cannot be in the government, the hope that our nation will wake up and turn back to God, or any person or event.
Our hope must be in all the truths and promises of Scripture: God’s free offer of salvation to those who will believe, His divine supports here and now to those who belong to Him, the reality of heaven and the promise of eternal rewards. And while our saltiness may sting at times, it must be balanced with a brightness that will cause others to want what we have.
Today’s Other Readings:
Holding Out the Light, Not Taking Part in the Darkness
As the psalmist continues to recount the history of the Israelites, he includes these verses about their involvement with pagan religions, even taking part in the most detestable practices.
35 But they mingled with the Gentiles
And learned their works;
36 They served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
37 They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
In 2 Corinthians 6.14-17 Paul said:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God …
17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord …”
Because we have not obeyed that command, like the ancient Israelites of Isaiah’s time, we are often more a part of our culture then we are separate from it. We are so afraid of being called “intolerant” or of being accused of being narrow minded or ignorant that we have accepted the world’s philosophy on many things or at least been intimidated into silence while unborn babies are being killed, history is rewritten, and truth becomes relative. Continue reading