Daily Reading: Philippians 2:12–18

Shine like stars.(Phil. 2:15)

I was spending the night in an African village. Because they don’t have any electricity, the villagers’ routine is to go to bed early and wake up early. I didn’t mind going to bed early; but waking up early, when the sun had not yet made its appearance, was another story. The pastor who was hosting me shook me hard and ordered, “Umfundisi Lo, wake up! I want you to come out to see the morning star.” Groggily I got out of my sleeping bag and walked out into the chilly dark. Pointing heavenward the pastor said, “There it is: God’s star!”

The amaNdebele (Ndebele people) call the morning star iKhwezi (the Star); it is the star that shines brighter than all the other stars. While sitting around an open fire where breakfast was being prepared, I was taught that: the radiance of the iKhwezi does not originate from itself. Its brightness is due to the iKhwezi reflecting the light of the sun. The reason it is brighter than all the other stars in the heavens is because it is closer to the sun than any other star.

Christians are called to be amakhwezi (stars). We are to recognize that we are not the Light, but reflections of the Light. We also need to recognize that the closer we live to the Son, the brighter we will shine for Him.

Ask God how you can shine Christ’s love into the life of someone who is struggling in darkness.

Jim “Umfundisi” Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer(WPH) and the dean of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.