It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who foolishly condemn the Gospel without knowing what it can do for them, having never experienced its power. You are free from the law, but that doesn’t mean you are free to do wrong. Live as those who are free to do only God’s will at all times – 1 Peter 2:15-16 Living Bible (TLB)
Do the people around you know that you’re a Christian? Do they act differently around you? How do you reflect Christ in your life? Do you just try to keep out of trouble or avoid associating with certain people as the religious leaders did? Or do you live as Christ did when He was here? Do you live as the prophet Daniel did among the Babylonians?
All through his exile Daniel lived an exemplary life. He remained faithful to God. He refused to eat food that violated God’s diet and even after a decree was passed which declared that no man should petition any god or man for thirty days, except King Darius, he continued to worship God as he was accustomed to. He refused to compromise even if it meant imprisonment or death. His three friends were willing to die for their faith when they refused to bow down to the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar.
What about you? If you were asked or pressured to do something that was contrary to God’s Word or affected your faith, would you do it for the sake of peace or unity? Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). Would you be willing to die for Him? Or would you deny Him and renounce your faith in order to save your life?
Don’t let fear, trials, tribulations, suffering, pain, hardships snuff out your light or destroy your faith. The Christian life is not an easy one by any means. It was never meant to be when you live for God. Jesus said, “The world would love you if you belonged to it; but you don’t—for I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you. The people of the world will persecute you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me” (John 15:19, 21,TLB). Those who choose to follow Jesus will encounter opposition in the world and will be persecuted but they are encouraged to be of good cheer because just as Jesus has overcome the world, we will too. And we are also told, “for whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith” (1 John 5:4, MEV).
We overcome the world not by renouncing our faith but holding on to it as Daniel and his friends did and all the godly men and women who refused to deny their Lord. We overcome the world by being lights in it just as Jesus who was the true Light who came into the world. We are to bear witness to that Light as John the Baptist did. We are to be lights which lead others to “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9, NKJV).
And as lights, we are to be examples to those around us by being honest and faithful like Daniel so that no one can find any fault with us (Daniel 6:4, CEV). Paul exhorts us “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 and perverse people” (Philippians 2:15, NLT). We are to conduct ourselves in such a way that men will see and glorify our heavenly Father.
Let us purpose in our hearts to be obedient children who delight to do our Father’s will, no matter what and not give anyone cause to say anything against us. Let our good and right living silence them.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16