4.10.14 "Shining Like Stars!"

Philippians 2:12-16 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

Recently I watched a movie about a very devoted Christian who was having a particularly rough time. He had lost his job and his wife could only find part-time work.   There were also two little ones to feed and another on the way. Each day he searched diligently for work but he just could not seem to catch a break. Finally just as the eviction and cutoff notices began to arrive a call came for a promising job.   But even this was a challenge. The job interview was way across town and his wife would need their beat up old car, which was running on fumes, to get to her job and drop the kids at school. He would take the bus and get as close as he could to the job site then walk the rest of the way.   It was just a shade past 7AM when he arrived at the site in time to see the foreman locking the door to the trailer that served as the office for the construction site. He was too late, the job had been filled.

Dejected he began the long walk home. Even though he was angry, afraid, and anxious, he prayed fervently asking GOD for help and direction. As he turned a corner he heard someone call out his name and he turned to see a stranger beckoning him. The man asked him if he was looking for work. With his mouth hanging open the Christian confirmed indeed he was and the stranger hired him to help build a shed in his back yard. Later the Christian would learn that the stranger had mistaken him for someone else who had failed to show up. By the time the shed was complete the stranger and Christian were friends and the stranger had gotten the Christian a permanent job at the factory where he worked.

But that’s not the end of the story. Just a few months after the Christian was hired the owners approached him one Friday afternoon with the offer of a lifetime, a management job making more money that he’d ever made before and with benefits that would take care of all his family’s needs. But there was a catch. The owner would give the Christian the job only if he agreed to falsify inventory records. And it got worse. If he declined the job the company would no longer have a place for him. He was given until the next Monday to decide.

It was a horrible weekend. His wife left the decision completely up to him but he could see the desperation in her eyes. On Monday the Christian met with the owners and with great dread declined their offer and prepared himself to suffer the consequences. But to his surprise the owners shook his hand and congratulated him. They wanted a person of honesty and good character as a manager and the Christian had passed the test!

Our lives are filled with opportunities often disguised has problems.   GOD does not interfere with our ability to make choices and exercise free will.   How we choose as Christians is what makes us salt and light. Remember HE did not choose us because we are special, we are special because He chose us.

Heavenly FATHER, send YOUR HOLY SPIRIT to lead and guide us this day toward choices that clearly show who we are. When we are tempted to whine and grumble focus us on the opportunity rather than the problem. Strengthen our faith so that our decisions honor YOU and make YOU proud. In CHRIST name we pray. AMEN

Jim L.