Living Lights

Adam Stout

READ : Philippians 2:12-16

Do all things without grumbling or questioning . . . shine as lights in the world. (vv. 14-15)

Midwestern landscapes offer many gorgeous sights in summer: prolonged sunsets, dense
forests, and magnificent thunderstorms. But one of my favorite summer sights comes not
from a sweeping landscape but from a seemingly insignificant creature: the firefly. When I
look down the hill behind my parents’ house, away from the city lights, the flashing
fireflies can even upstage the stars in the sky. Fireflies are known for their
bioluminescence, which means “living lights.”

Paul told the Philippians they were living lights. As children of God, their lives
should stand out in a dark world. When I hear this I get discouraged. What great thing am
I doing to stand out like a living light? I haven’t founded a charity or written a great
book. I’ve done nothing great at all.

Then I am reminded of the “great” thing the Philippians are called to do in verse 14:
obey without grumbling. Really? Is that it? But Paul knows that the seemingly
insignificant things are what God desires from us. When God calls us to shine, he is
talking not only about the most visible parts of our lives, but also the forgotten
corners, those hidden places we don’t want to change. But when we open ourselves to listen
and obey in the little things, we may notice something strange. We may find ourselves


Lord, today let me be a living light for you.