Shining as Lights in the World By Doing All Things Without Murmuring and Disputing Philippians 2:14
Introductory ThoughtsSo far in this series on shining as lights in theworld, we have been given both direction andhope Direction in the form of the admonition - Work out your own salvation Hope in the assurance that it is God who works in youBut now we have a warningThe need for this warning should become moreapparent as we proceed with this morningslesson
MurmuringThe danger of murmuring Murmuring defined - to complain in low mumbling tones; grumble The people of Israel murmured frequently throughout their wilderness wanderings, and many were destroyed because of it - 1 Corinthians 10:10-11 In describing those who would be apostates, murmurers are included in the description - Jude 3-4, 16-19How can we then shine as lights if we are seento be a group of complainers?
MurmuringWhen a person is murmuring, it is an indicationof dissatisfactionA Christian has so much to be thankful for Salvation in Christ Jesus, which includes every spiritual blessing - Ephesians 1:3 Assurance of a Heavenly Father who understands and will provide our needs - Matthew 6:31-33If anything, the people of God should be knownas filled with thanksgiving, not murmuring
MurmuringConsider what Paul wrote to the Colossians We should thank God for our inheritance - Colossians 1:12 We should abound with thanksgiving - Colossians 2:6-7 Be thankful for the peace of God ruling in our hearts - Colossians 3:15 Give thanks to God the father through Jesus Christ - Colossians 3:17 Be vigilant in prayer with thanksgiving - Colossians 4:2Surely an attitude of gratitude will help us shineas lights in the world much better than Murmuring, grumbling and complaining!
DisputingThe danger of disputing Disputing simply means - arguing - disputing It is not describing the discussions of differencesbetween individuals who seek to find common ground But rather the sort of divisive wrangling condemned in 1 Timothy 6:3-5 - 2 Timothy 2:14-16Such disputing can devour those in the body ofChrist, against which Paul warned - Galatians 5:15It can also destroy our ability to convince theworld concerning Jesus
DisputingBeing different in how we handle our differencesThere will always be differences among brethren We come into the kingdom with many different backgrounds and perspectives It will take a while until we all develop the mind of Christ and the oneness of mind for which Paul pleaded in Philippians 2:2
DisputingUntil then, we can still shine as lights in the world in the way we handle our differences! With the attitudes of gentleness, patience, and humility prescribed in 2 Timothy 2:23-26 With the qualities of longsuffering, forbearance, and forgiveness described in Colossians 3:12-13 With the willingness to forego personal liberties as exemplified by Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:13
Concluding ThoughtsWe can truly shine as lights and make a positive impact on the world for JesusToo much harm has been done in the past by the way we have dealt with differences, and thetendency to complainIf we can only take to heart the warning of Pauland other scriptures against murmuring and disputing