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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Peculiar - Really!

Did you hear about the lady that was addicted to eating the foam out of couches recently?  It's a strange sickness - one we might say is odd or peculiar. Words such as peculiar make us think of odd, strange, even weird - yet the Bible describes Christians as a peculiar people (in the King James Version (KJV), anyway.  Other versions have "special" and other words.).  The Bible meaning isn't the meaning we think of nowadays as a definition for peculiar.

 In three different passages (Deuteronomy 14:2; Titus 2:14; and 1 Peter 2:9 - all KJV), God identifies His own people as a “peculiar people".  The world may call Christians "peculiar" and mean it in a negative connotation, but what did God mean by it? Literally, in those three passages, the word means, “that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions; a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession”.

If we are truly a child of God, then we have been chosen (adopted) out of the world (those who are not a true child of God) into His family, and we are His possession. We have been redeemed (bought back) by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Our adoption is free to us, but not to Him. He therefore has every right to expect us to obey His will. His Word is clear on how He wants us to live.  We get all mixed up.  We get opinions and feelings mixed with truth and fact.  God's Word straightens that all out for us - if we'll allow it to.

One of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to stand up for what's right (by God's standards - not our opinions), and to defend Christ, His church, and the gospel that leads to salvation.  When we choose to serve Him in that way - with that conviction - we may be called names.  We may be made fun of.  We may be hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally.  But, in everything, our faithfulness and commitment to God will show when we choose to be different....even peculiar. 

Persecution comes in many ways, and when we are persecuted for Him, we must believe that it is He who is being glorified.  It's not about being proud in what we are doing, but a pride in whose we are - in our belongingness and about being His chosen people.  In doing so, through our example and our walk, we will be living out that description in a way that shows others Jesus Christ - the Jesus that died for them and wants to be their Savior, too.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:17-19 (NIV)

The world did and still does hate Jesus and what He has done. The world hates God's plan.  The world wants to "do their own thing".  Satan would love it if all would denounce Jesus and serve him.  His goal is to trip us up and draw us away from God.  He delights in our persecution because he thinks we'll fail.

Being persecuted means we may be hated, too.  That's tough talk, isn't it?  Kind of scary?  I, myself, might be able to handle the persecution, but the thought of my family being persecuted makes me feel like a big mamma bear protecting her little bear cubs!  (My kiddos like it when I tell them that! They think it's funny....that I'm joking.....but I'm not.).  It's tough!  But, the road Jesus went down and the cross He died on was even tougher, and for that we can take it.  We can take whatever the world, the scoffers, and Satan want to throw at us, can't we?  Can't we be peculiar?

Ask yourself this important question:  Are you God’s own possession, a peculiar people? If so, you are not your own, for you belong to Him.  Belonging to Him should make us want to serve Him as described throughout the Bible.

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV)

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Amen! Hard to practice, though, sometimes!

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