by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
... a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life (Phil. 2:15–16).
When I retired from my regular duties, someone said to me: "Join our club; we complain full time about the church and the government. It'll give you something to do." He was joking, but much truth is said in jest.
"Do everything without complaining or arguing," says God through Paul. The murmuring (grumbling, complaining) of Israel in the desert is an ominous example of what happens to people who complain full time. They get into the habit of objecting to God's way with them.
Paul compares the life of God's people in the world to stars in a dark sky. The dark sky is the "crooked and depraved generation"—in other words, the majority of our contemporaries. That's quite a severe judgment on our contemporaries, of course. And we must take care that it is not the only thing we have to say about them.
The point is that God's children are the lightbearers in this setting. We attract attention, as a star in a dark night, while we offer the "crooked and depraved generation" the message of life.
In a sin-dominated world, even the natural lights of reason and common sense tend to disappear. Sometimes educators become stupid, and leaders don't know where they are going.
In such darkness, we must lift the torch. Even a small candle gives a big light in a dark night.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version