December 03, 2015

Shine Like the Stars by Steph Beth Nickel

Daniel 12:3 is such an incredible verse—challenging too! It says, "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." (ESV)

At this time of year, lights are everywhere ... from traditional Christmas tree lights to the new-fangled lazar unit that makes our neighbours' house looks like it's covered in glitter (I love it, but it's a little pricey.)

But if we allow the Light of the World to shine through us, we will shine even brighter than that house—you know ... the one that has the hydro metre spinning full speed.

Getting back to the verse in Daniel ...

The Bible has much to say about wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 comes to mind: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Let's dig into what God's Word teaches us about knowledge, wisdom, and instruction. (I love biblegateway [dot] com. It's such a great resource!)

I'm sure we all want to "shine like the brightness of the sky above." I know I do.

I also want to shine "like the stars forever and ever." (emphasis mine) To do so, Daniel states that we must "turn many to righteousness."

Just how can we do that? Here are six suggestions:

1. We must bathe our efforts in prayer. We have a part to play—that is evident throughout the Scriptures—but it really is about Him and not us.

2. We must be willing to make the most of every opportunity to make Him known. This is a wonderful time of year to speak about the Saviour's birth and what He came to accomplish, but often we're so busy running from one task to the next that we rush passed those who so desperately need to hear.

3. Even for those of you who are not list fanatics like I am, this is a good time of year to create a schedule. You could record your goals under the following three headings: What I Want to Accomplish, How I Will Accomplish It, When I Will Accomplish It.

4. For writers in particular, this is a good time to come up with a writing schedule. It's so easy to let this slip over the holidays. We will want to be realistic with our plans, probably cutting back on the amount of time we spend writing, but if it's in our planner, we are more likely to stick with it.

5. We must be patient with others and with God. Things often don't happen when we would like them to, but we must persevere as we seek to make the Lord known and point others to Him. Remember we plant and water the seed, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).

6. I would like to add that we must be patient with ourselves as well. Sometimes we'll get it right and sometimes we won't. As long as the Lord gives us breath, we will have opportunities, directly and indirectly, to turn others to righteousness. I've often prayed that I'll do better next time.

May we be wise and turn many to righteousness as a result of our actions and words, both spoken and written, this Christmas season!


  1. Thanks for the tips Stephanie!

  2. I've never focused on that verse from Daniel before, Steph. You've shown it to be a perfect precursor to who we should be, especially over the Christmas season. I was at a luncheon recently and one woman said, "You always have such peace and joy about you." I was taken aback. Yes, I feel great peace and joy at this stage in my life, but it shows? Her words reminded me that the Spirit within us is always shining, just as Daniel points out. No matter our circumstances, if we keep Christ front and centre, it will show. That's encouraging for people like me - introverted and not goal oriented. But we can still shine like stars. Yes, I want the Lord to do that in me.

  3. Thanks for the reference to the Daniel verse, that immediately made me think of the Philippians 2:15 where we are encouraged to "shine like the stars in the universe, as you hold out the word of life." As in all seasons, I think people are drawn to the light of our actions over our words.
    Tip #6 is powerful, we are often guilt driven, and I agree with the need to be kind to ourselves.

  4. Thanks, Miss Stephanie, for giving me affirmation about setting goals and making lists to keep our brains and hearts stayed on Him. And the thing about our faith (as in writing and marriage) we never arrive. It is hard work and there is always much to learn! ;)

  5. Thank you, Steph, for your good thoughts on how to stay sane during the pre-Christmas or Advent season. All of your six points seem relative and, with God's help, doable. I plan to read this a few more times during Advent to remind myself how God is speaking to me through your words. Thank you for the reminder that "we plant and water the seed, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6)." May we all plant and water the seeds prayerfully and then leave the rest to God.

  6. Such excellent points, Steph. I've been praying the Lord's Prayer as an index prayer. It has helped me to remember your point #5 and that God's timing is perfect. Thanks.


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