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Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, SHINING LIKE BRIGHT LIGHTS in a world full of crooked & perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:12-16
God’s not looking for Christianised people – He’s looking for Christ devotees.
By ‘christianised’ I mean, you take on the appearances of Christian behaviour, general moral goodness and you maybe in a Church community, but you have no source of power, there is no ‘stand out’ element to your life.
God hasn’t called us to simply attend Church but to build the Church, He hasn’t called us to visit the family but be the family. God didn’t only call it His House but also His people. A people on fire!
If we blend in we don’t stand out, if we conform to the pattern of this world, we’re no different, if we do not shine how will people ever see Him? We are to shine bright like diamonds in a world that has lost its lustre!
We do this by becoming like Christ – allowing Him to revolutionise us from the inside out.
* Christ at the core of you is ultimately the power or fire source to the shine.
LET’S TALK ABOUT DIAMONDS (all female readers will be happy right now!)
Diamonds are made out of highly organized carbon. Geologists are still guessing the time lines but they think the recipe follows something like this:
1. Bury carbon dioxide 160 kms into Earth
2. Heat to about 1,200 ℃
3. Squeeze under pressure of 50,000 kgs per square cm
4. Quickly rush towards Earth’s surface to cool
There are 3 parts to the formation and therefore the attraction of a diamond.
Diamonds are mined. They are effectively made from what would be considered waste material – but not any old waste – organised carbon! Our lives are transformed when we line ourselves up with Christ.
Jesus was put under the most intense pressure, no human could have faced, he went to the ‘core of the earth’, to hell. He defeated hells fire and rose quickly. He became the ultimate diamond from which we were cut. We have been buried, with Him, and raised with Him and we are seated in heavenly places, with Him!
“Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.” Isaiah 51:1
You were cut from who? Whose quarry were you formed from? Christ. In Him you have new birth, new life, in Him you were mined, carved and fashioned. You look like Him, walk like Him, you are in Him.
We just gotta let it out.
Diamonds are cut. Each cut realises the true value of the diamond, each cut, reflects the light more brilliantly. Each choice to surrender intensifies the beauty of His light.
We have to allow Him to cut things off our lives to make us more magnificent in Him. What we think is a painful loss, is actually a magnificent gain… what we once would have counted as valuable to us will appear empty and of no value compared to what we gain by letting go.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. Philippians 3:8,9
When we let go of things that hinder us, that are patterns of this world, or our dependency on our performance or our academic credits we become diamonds cut to reflect His light more brilliantly.
Diamonds don’t simply reflect light they refract light. This is where their incredible beauty lies.
Refraction is where light travels from one density of substance into a different density and the light bends. However, the different colours of light refract at different rates, therefore white light becomes separated into its constituent colours. So the light enters the diamond, bends and separates, and does the same as it hits every new surface of the diamond. So the more cuts there have been the more refraction takes place. Finally the colours leave the diamond and we see the beautiful results of the refraction.
* We’re not simply to do what Jesus did, but have the attitude that Jesus had. The light is to be internalised not just reflected. The light is meant to be allowed to transform us on the inside, shine in all areas, turning depression into joy, anxiety into peace, anger into love … as it does so Jesus is refracted into His multiple characteristics and pours out of us in His full colour.
SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND
Don’t be too shallow – in a diamond that is cut too shallow the light gets lost through the sides and is not seen. If we are just playing around with our faith or never let God get ‘under our skin’, we are shallow, the light never gets seen, we look no different to anyone else.
Equally don’t be too deep – in a diamond that is cut too deep the light gets lost through the bottom. If you live entirely in a spiritual zone, never talking normally, or processing the normal things of life rationally your light will become irrelevant to anyone, it won’t be seen.
* BE NORMAL and let God do His work in and through you.
This is really the end of my blog, however, you might be interested in taking the diamond test below before you go:
3 Tests of a Genuine Diamond
- The scratch test – a real diamond would make a scratch in a piece of glass – how strong are you when you are knocked against something – how resilient is your life, do you display a strength in Christ?
2. The clarity test – when looking at a diamond you should not be able to see through it like glass, due to the refraction process of the light. When people look at you can they see straight through you and say “you look like everyone else” or do they see a mystery of colour and say “there is something different about you?”
3. The fog test – when you fog the surface of a diamond by breathing on it the fog will clear immediately. How quickly do you get over things? Do you restore your attitude quickly when it has got fogged up?
You ARE a diamond, but let’s shine like one!!