I want you to look at the nearest unnatural light near you. (By this I mean NOT THE SUN. Don’t lookout the sun. That could do some real damage.) Look at the nearest lamp, overhead light, etc. Now, imagine that you were to take the cover to that light, and put a dark tint over it (like you would on a car window.) What would be the effect? Would the light bulb produce less light? No, the bulb would have the same wattage. But the effect of the light would be greatly reduced. The tint on the shade or cover would cause the environment around the lamp to not be as illuminated as it otherwise would be.
Of course, you are probably wondering WHY I would ask such a weird question. People get lamps to provide light. Why would anyone put a dark tint on their lamp? Good question.
I use this illustration today because in Philippians 2:14-18 Paul refers to Christians as lights that are intended to shine into the darkness of this world. Jesus’ intended mission for you and me is that we would shine His life and light to a world that is dark and dying. Therefore He has placed His light inside us. However, when we spend our lives complaining and focused on personal agendas, it is like we are putting a dark tint on the Gospel. The Gospel is still powerful, but if we remain selfish and proud, the Gospel’s illumination might be dimmed in our culture. This passage is a call for us to remove the tint of our sin so that the Gospel may shine in all its brilliance.
This Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 services (indoors and with classes for children, students, college, and adults), 8:00 (outdoor chapel service) or 10:15 online (wildwoodchurch.org/live), we will be in part 3 of our “Attitude of a Servant” series as we will learn how to shine in this world for Christ. Make plans to join us this weekend!