What Does It Mean to Be “Stars of Heaven?”
July 10, 2020Empowering Influence, God's presence, Heaven
When God saw Abraham respond to His guidance, He promised Abraham would be as a father to the faithful (a). God further said; I will multiply your descendants (of faith) as the stars of heaven…all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (b). This promise to an individual has a broader national implication that includes us today. How are we the “stars of heaven?”
As we have noted in previous writings, the “heavens” of scripture actually speak of elevated degrees of living on Earth. Within these heavens, the stars are a visual of oversight and influences. Since Scripture is a record of God’s instruction for this life, what does it say about us arising and shining as the stars of heaven?
Beacon of Light
The first time God called people to function under His governance as a nation, He called them “My people” Israel (c). This mixed multitude (d) was gathered to interact as the Kingdom of God and be a national witness to the nations of the world.
Seeking and following God’s guidance, Israel became a beacon of light, a society where everyone could prosper for 500 years. Then they “elected” to give up freedoms so they could be like other nations with a king and ruling class (e). With all their successes and missteps, they remained a nation for 1000 years before falling into full captivity. Unfortunately, the national witness of elevated living under God’s guidance deteriorated into the religion of Judaism.
However, Light was restored when God renewed His call to faith in His guidance with the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus said; “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (f). The Apostle John said; In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men (g). We follow Jesus by being a child that follows our heavenly Father.
God’s guidance elevates His people to be beacons of light.
Light Bearers as Kingdom People
Jesus taught and illustrated what life is like when we follow God’s guidance. His witness generated a personal response to God. Multitudes responded and became as stars, sharing the light of their faith experience with everyone. They declared, “God is with us” and is not restricted to a temple or a statue on a shelf.
Following the days of Jesus, God’s Kingdom representation was taken from Jewish oversight and was given to a new gathering of people who would bear its fruit (h). Believers experienced the Kingdom reign of God in their lives and became light bearers everywhere they lived.
Their light shined brightly for nearly 500 years before an official religion took control and restricted the reading of sacred writings to a ministry class. Sadly, any people or nation can slip into servitude when their freedoms are restricted. Then as now, God does not ask us to bow to unrighteous laws, edicts and regulations.
Fortunately, 1000 years later Bibles were printed and distributed to common people. The Reformation of 1500 again began refreshing God’s call to faith and the freedom to live as Kingdom people. All things become visible when they are exposed by the light…“Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead (your lack of involvement), and Christ will shine on you” (i).
God’s call is to faith and freedom to live as Kingdom people.
Shine as the Visible Body of Christ
Believers are the collective body of Christ in the earth (j). Our interaction is the enlarged illustration of God’s Kingdom; “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (k).
It is often said; we need to get on our knees and pray so the Lord will heal our land (m). The only knee we bow is in hearts, submitting to God’s ways among us. Despite our many short-comings, varied levels of maturity, different customs and languages; we are “to stand and shine” as congregations, communities, states, and countries.
God calls us to stand together and be a standard of faith and righteous living. People are attracted to light, rather than driven by violence or a strong arm. A mob mentality has never been God’s way to bring about change. “Come and let us reason together” (n).
We are to stand together and shine as a standard of faith and righteous living.
Arise As the Stars of Heaven
Identifying as a Christian acknowledges a belief in God and Jesus Christ. Annual surveys report over 80 percent of the USA population identify as Christian, even though only 30 to 35 percent regularly attend services. While understandings differ, America is a Christian nation and God blesses our efforts to do what is right. We still have the right to vote and remain free to prosper by responding to God’s lead.
God blesses our elevated lean toward godliness, right living, and speedy efforts to share blessings. Are we or anyone perfect expressions of love as bright shining lights that reflect and resemble God’s heart? Of course not, but we are becoming and maturing into better and more effective expressions of the light of God, personally and as nations.
We are encouraged to; “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you…Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (o). The light of God-in-Christ has already come! His presence is promised to “always” be with all who look to Him (p).
May we do our part and arise as the stars of heaven, as individuals and as nations. Let us express our voices as light-bearers of God’s way of living and elect representatives that support our freedom to follow the dictates of our God-leaning hearts!
God blesses our lean toward godliness, right living, and speedy sharing of blessings.
a) Romans 4:12, 16; b) Genesis 26:4; c) Exodus 19:1, 5-6; d) Exodus 12:38; e) 1 Samuel 8:6-8; 12:12-14; f) John 8:12; g) John 1:4; h) Matthew 21:43; i) Ephesians 5:14; 2:1, 5-6; j) Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:20, 27; k) Matthew 5:14-16; m) 2 Chronicles 7:14; n) Isaiah 1:18; o) Isaiah 60:1, 3; p) Matthew 28:20