Be Different

One of the most basic human emotions is the desire to fit in somewhere. We want someone to value us, to think we are special. This really hits its peak in the teenage years. It is what leads many teens to become chameleons. They want to change themselves until they find the acceptance they are looking for. It is also part of the reason that some teens give in to peer pressure concerning sex, drugs, or drinking. I wish I could say that it ends when we are no longer teenagers, but we all know that isn’t the case. Inside of us is a desire to put our best foot forward, and to carefully craft an image for ourselves with people. Among the many problems with this type of thinking is this, God created you unique. If you are a child of God, you are called to be different, to stand out. Paul shows us this in 2 Corinthians 6:16-17, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.'”

The apostle Paul mashes up several Old Testament quotes in these two verses. He does it to show that God’s expectation of Israel in the Old Testament, is the same expectation that God has for His church in the New Testament. God’s people are called and commanded to be separate, to be different from the world around us. The more we try to fit in, the less we look like God, and the weaker our message becomes to the world. There are two extremes that Christians tend to fall into. The first is what some would consider a “Bible-thumper.” You probably have met one before. They go around and use the Bible as a club to beat people over the head with. This has never won anyone to Christ. The second extreme is the one who wants to fit in with the world in order to win the world. Again, no one has ever come to faith in Jesus after being around someone who acts just like they do. Many times, when people see a Christian talking and living like them, it is a turn off. One thing that saddens me is how many non-believers know more about how Christians should live and behave than Christians themselves. We are called and commanded to pursue a life of holiness. That means we are to pursue Jesus. He is the epitome of holiness. Romans 8:29 tells us that God has predestined His children to become like Jesus. Therefore, this is a work that God does in us and through us. However, in order for the Spirit to do His work, we must yield our will to Him. We must voluntarily surrender to the Holy Spirit so that He can work in our heart to change our life. Therefore, the question I want to ask here is this, are you surrendering to the Holy Spirit so He can work in your heart and change your life? How can I pray for you? How can I help you pursue holiness? If we want to see God move in our families, churches, communities, country, and the world; it is going to take the people of God living like the Son of God for the glory of God. Will we?

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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