The abyss between light and dark is growing wider every day. We’ve watched this happen over the past few decades as shaking took place around both the secular and church worlds. Men and women of position did not permit the Word of God to be a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path. They walked in partial light. With the pathway still obscured, they stumbled and fell. Ah, but take heart! The Bright and Morning Star shines to give direction. When heeded, there will be no stumbling. There may be thorns and rocks in our pathway in the form of persecution and tribulation, but in the heart there will be no doom or gloom. Jesus said, I have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.
The Bright and Morning Star indicates a new day is about to dawn with new opportunities and clear direction visible to all. Jesus is that star! He will continue to shine brightly in the days to come. His Church will triumph in every battle, win over every obstacle, and disintegrate every weapon formed against Her. She will outshine every counterfeit, every bad report, and every evildoer. Jesus said He will build His Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her. The Church of Jesus Christ is not defeated; she is alive and well although in some geographical locations around the world her light may still be underground.
We thank God for the shaking. We are brave. We are disciplined persons. Those who judge themselves need not be judged. We discipline ourselves so we won’t have to receive imposed discipline. We’ll be strong to conquer in Jehovah’s strength. We are bold. Those who know their God are those who do great exploits. New discoveries, righteous feats, recovery of those things relinquished or stolen—all come to those who choose to follow Jesus. His disciples know that Light shines brighter in total darkness.
Shine like stars
Something wonderful happened on a dark night in Bethlehem. Jesus, the Son of God arrived! His star, bright and beautiful, was shining in a steady burst of light. There was something different about this star. The wise men, taking note of it, did some research. They determined it to be the star of the newborn king of the Jews whose prophesied birth was anticipated by many. In the midst of their excitement, the magi embarked on a journey to Bethlehem to meet and worship the Messiah. Bethlehem, meaning “house of bread”, was the place where they would find King Jesus and get fulfillment for their lives.
The Star of the Show
Those who become popular or famous in a certain setting are referred to as the “star.” Why? Because they stand out from the others. We are familiar with the expressions: Basketball star. Hockey star. Movie star. They’ve made it. They’re topping the pop charts! One question: What are they going to wear? Every pop star needs an image and a knockout wardrobe to match.
We often refer to a person who stands out in a performance as being the star of the show, All the characters are needed to make the show complete, but this one person just outshines the others. The audience, impressed with the character, leaves the event talking about this outstanding person. So it was with the star of Bethlehem when Jesus was born; it outshined all the other stars in the heavens. Everyone familiar with sky-watching would notice its glow.
We Shine like Stars
We, too, shine like stars. We may be a star in the dark life of someone near us. Although we may not like dark places, our light always shines more brightly there. Perhaps that’s why the Lord has placed us where we are—to bring light. As Christians we are to shine like lights in the universe. Wherever we live and work, we must be a light-bearer—a star others want to follow and when they do, it will lead them to Jesus. The starlight of Jesus in us should shine brighter than anything or anyone else around.
Some of the brightest stars in our lives are parents. Parents who love Jesus and seek to be godly in all their ways light the way for their children to do the same. As they see their parents in situation after situation asking, “What would Jesus do?” children follow that star. Where will it lead? To Bethlehem—the house of bread. Here they can worship the King and find direction for their lives.
Teachers are stars
School teachers, Sunday School teachers, Bible teachers. Whatever they teach, if they love Jesus they are also stars in the lives of their students. Those who follow their teaching by precept and example will soon arrive in Bethlehem where they can worship King Jesus and set their lives on the right course.
Friends are stars
As friends who love Jesus, we will be a light by esteeming others more highly than ourselves. We will not demand our own way, but will exercise discernment with regard to good and evil. Our lips will not speak evil; our eyes will not look on evil; our ears will not listen to evil; and our mind will not think on evil things. We will think on things that are lovely, of a good report, pure, and honest. In so doing, we will be a bright shining star in the life of our friends who will see our good behavior and give glory to God.
Currently, there’s a promotion on to get people to buy a star for someone they love. They get to name the star and it becomes their very own. What a media rip off! Millions of stars exist in the galaxy. They are not for sale! Neither is the free gift of Light that Jesus offers to all who will accept it.
Whatever the season, let’s allow our star to shine. Jesus has put us here to shine forth His Word so that others may see it and follow the light to find Him. If Jesus has been born in our heart, we can be a friend’s Bethlehem—the place where they can find King Jesus. We can feed them the Word and lead them to worship Jesus and follow Him.
When we think of the people who have been stars in our life—helping to give us direction and encouragement at difficult times, let’s remember them with a thankful heart.
Jesus is the brightest star and always will outshine all the others, but we must be His stars shining in the universe as we lift up His Name, His Word, and point others to Him.
In a supernatural way, the glory of that Holy Night invades homes all over the world during the Christmas season. Customs and traditions have particular significance in bringing people together. Many books have been written on the subject of making memories—intentionally planning activities that the family will remember. In all of our planning, we must be sure that Jesus is the center. Without Him, there would be no Christmas. Without Him, all memories are merely temporal. Without Him, we live in darkness. No wonder the songwriter penned the passionate words: Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining; it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
(c) East of Bethlehem, C. Yvonne Karl, Brentwood Press, 2003. Chapter 8.
This book is out of stock and out of print but is occasionally offered as a used book on amazon.com, alibris.com, and abebooks.com.