Pictured above is the Nugget Point Lighthouse located in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It was built in 1869 from locally quarried stones. After researching a little more about this beacon, I told my wife that this, along with the Rubjerg Knude in Denmark, is definitely one of the lighthouses I would love to visit before I enter eternity. The first image I found of this lighthouse was obviously taken at night. Can you guess what caught my attention and inspired me to write this devotion? Yes, it was the awesome display of stars in the background. New Zealand is one of the few places on earth where one can get a stunning glimpse of the core of the Milky Way.
Growing up in the Carribean, I recall the many beautiful stargazing nights I enjoyed as a young boy. Unfortunately, those amazing displays of heavenly lights are no longer visible from the densely lited and smoggy mainland suburb I now call home. But even the clearest nocturnal skies back in the island did not produce such a host of deep-space gems like those above. The Nugget Point Lighthouse night scene reminds me that followers of Jesus Christ are not only like lighthouses for God, but also like shining stars in the heavens.
Paul’s advice to the Philippians and to us is perhaps something very difficult to achieve, but not entirely impossible. The challenge here is to learn to count our blessings before we focus on our trials. Let’s be honest, most of our first world problems are nothing compared to those of third world countries. This doesn’t mean that we do not genuinely experience struggles that are detrimental to our physical, emotional, and even spiritual health. But if we were to truly consider and be grateful for the resources, opportunities, favors, and freedoms we enjoy we would certainly be less inclined to complain about many of the seemingly difficult situations we encounter. How about we practice less fretting and more thanksgiving so that we can stand out in a world that is overwhelmingly insatiable and ungrateful? Only then could we become like radiant stars in the deep dark universe.
The Bible is filled with verses that declare how God’s creation testifies of His awesomeness. Even songs like “Who am I, Lord?“, “God of Wonders“, “Stars in the Sky“, among others, remind us that the earth and the heavens are constantly glorifying their Creator.
It’s human nature to praise and worship something or someone. People honor other people’s achievements. People praise other people’s talents. People even worship other people or things by making them the center of their lives. But those who have entered into a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ are to venerate, extol, and adore Him alone. He is the one who formed us in our mother’s womb. He is the one who sent His Son to pay for our sins and give us eternal life. He is the only One who can grant us true love, peace, and joy. Therefore, He is the only one worthy of all praise. And if all creation continuously praises Him, then how much more should we?
Have you ever witnessed a starry night? Have you ever wondered how many stars are actually out there? A quick internet search reveals there are approximately 250 billion +/- 150 billion stars in our Milky Way alone!
In a world dominated by social media, it’s not uncommon to find people with millions of “followers.” But even those with just a few hundred cannot possibly remember let alone know them all by name. Especially since most of them are fans/strangers. Yet, Isaiah tells us that the One who created all the stars knows each and every one of them by name and that not a single one has ever been lost. This declaration confounds most astronomers and even causes them to doubt/reject the existence of such a Being. But this truth can only be accepted through faith. Faith in a God whose creative power is evident in the heavenlies. This same God also knows every human ever born by name because He is a personal God. And if He is careful to guard the stars in the heavens, how much more will he sustain His children in the darkest of times? He has promised to never allow any of them to go missing.
The most powerful man-made light is a laser beam that is a billion times brighter than the sun. In spite of the tremendous lumen it emits, it doesn’t compare to the power of the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ operating in and through those who have surrendered their lives to Him.
Relatively speaking, humans are nothing but quarks (subatomic particles) in the vastness of the known universe. Even David recognized this mind-blowing truth. He couldn’t fathom how the Creator of the galaxies could be mindful of simple sinful mortals. But because man was created in the image and likeness of the Almighty, he is actually His most precious creation. Humans hold a special place in God’s heart. That is why when anyone surrenders their life to Him, through faith in Jesus, He grants them His grace and righteousness, which is like being crowned with unmatchable glory and honor.
We may be nothing more than a birthday candle next to the biggest star in space, but only the light of Christ in us can reach where no other light can. Only His light can drive away the darkness of sin and of a hopeless eternity. We may be nothing more than a plebeian compared to the most powerful, intelligent, richest, or venerated person on the planet. But even the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than the most influential world leader, renowned scientist, eminent king or queen, esteemed religious figure, or famous celebrity. Those who accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of their souls are given the power to be called children of the Most High and are entrusted to carry His light of salvation to a spiritually dying world. Imagine, you can shine brighter than the brightest light. You can be a lighthouse and a star shining God’s glory!
Prayer: Lord of heaven and earth, I stand in awe of your awesome power. I humble myself before you and join all of creation in proclaiming your majesty. Like David, I cannot fathom your grace bestowed upon me, but I wholeheartedly thank you for it. Help me to live a life worthy of your love and mercy towards me. Guard my heart and mind so that I can genuinely reflect the light of your glory in all I say and do. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.