STARS AND BLACK HOLES 3-1-20
Stars and Black Holes
March 1, 2020
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” These words, spoken by the angel, Michael, are recorded in Daniel 12:3. We, as Christians, are called to shine the light of Christ brightly, and radiate his love into this world. Love and light are positive forces, forces that move outward from their origin, and infuse their energy into all that surround them.
On the other hand, black holes do not generally radiate any light at all. Instead they absorb all that comes near to them, voraciously devouring and digesting it, increasing in mass and gravity as they consume more and more stars.
Have you ever, or do you now, know someone that can literally suck the life out of a person? These people are like black holes. Instead of a positive force, they are a negative one. They literally draw energy out of others, draining them of their vitality and joy, causing their light to dim or flicker, and sometimes to go out entirely. They constantly complain, put their needs and wants ahead of all others, feed on your sympathy and generosity, and give little or nothing in return. They monopolize conversations, which tend to be of either of a “poor me” nature, or else one that criticizes everyone who they feel isn’t living up to their standards. Of course, they never think that anyone with any sense at all must realize that they talk the same way about you when they are with someone else. I’m sure you can all think of someone in your life, past or present, that fits this description.
But praise God for the stars in your life! These are the people that radiate joy, love, and peace. They are the ones that make you feel refreshed, revitalized, and invigorated after being around them. No matter how upset or depressed you were, they leave you with a smile on your face and a warm glow in your heart. They support you, encourage you, and give you hope for the future. And when they talk about Jesus you can actually feel his love through them. This is the type of person that God calls us to be.
The apostle Paul wrote that we are to “encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and also that we should not “let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29). And Jesus said, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34). Yes, as he loved us…
But what about those black holes in our life? Are we to just keep allowing them to drain us every time we are around them? Yes and no. We are not called to avoid the darkness, but rather we are to shine the light of Christ within it, for God’s Word promises us that the darkness cannot overcome his light (John 1:5). However, we need to remember that even Jesus was comforted and refreshed by angels after fasting 40 days in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan, and then again in Gethsemane when the weight of the world was on his shoulders and he was sweating drops of blood because he knew what men were about to do to him. And God will refresh us as well when much is asked of us. We need to go to him daily in prayer, feed on his Word, and seek out the companionship of other ‘stars’. Two “positives” will strengthen each other, especially in light of the promise our Lord gave us that whenever two or three of us gather in his name, he is right there with us (Matthew 18:20). So if we have let our batteries run down without recharging them, then yes, we need to step away from those who would drain us to the point of exhaustion, until we have sufficiently replenished through prayer, the Word, and the love of God’s people. How do we know if we have reached that point? Have you become short-tempered, irritable, depressed, frustrated, or anxious? Are you becoming easily annoyed and losing your enthusiasm for serving God and helping others? Don’t feel guilty for time you take to allow God to refill your gas tank so to speak. A car can’t run on empty and neither can you. The Bible says even Jesus withdrew to a solitary place after the news of John the Baptist’s beheading temporarily crushed his spirit (Matthew 14:13). So if it is OK for Jesus to retreat and replenish, it is OK for us as well. Better that than to completely shatter our witness for Christ by either acting out in public, posting on facebook in a way that does not reflect well on ourselves or on Christ, or saying something that can never be taken back because once it’s out there, it’s out there.
As for the black holes, God can change their heart. He can reverse that negative energy into a positive flow if they would just turn to Jesus, repent and put their faith in Him. We can’t change them, but the Holy Spirit can once they allow him to. So pray for them, and be a positive example for them of how Jesus can brighten their outlook and disposition and fill them with joy in spite of their circumstances. Don’t let them change you, but rather let Christ change them. Amen.
"Shine Like Stars" (True Worshipper) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEY9bmSIo3c
"Lights Shine Bright" (TobyMac) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d17hi1s6Tgg