There is just something about them that is not the same. Of course, they are just people like me but there is something curiously different about them.
I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in him in every way, in all speech and all knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 (CSB)
Have you ever for a moment considered just how different you are from the world around you.
Starting tomorrow there will be a mad bargain rush with early ‘Black Friday’ sales that start on Thursday. Every contact we have with the world is yet another opportunity for a divine encounter with the lost. If you are planning on taking advantage of the Holiday sales, then why not use them to glorify your Father in Heaven?
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (CSB)
It isn’t like tomorrow or Friday are uniquely special days for letting your light shine, but they are days when there is a great temptation to not be any different than anyone else as we grapple for goods to wrap and place under the tree for Christmas.
For some reason the thought of this shopping frenzy is reminiscent of those selling in the temple who Jesus sent packing with a righteous zeal that terrified the retailers and stunned the Pharisees.
Certainly not the same set of circumstances, but when you consider that the Holy Temple of today, where the Holy Spirit lives, isn’t a building, it is you and me, those that have surrendered their lives to Christ Jesus and the very premise of their life is that they are an emulation of the Master. Yes, Christian, if you have given your life to Jesus and have received the grace through faith that he pours out on us, you are no longer ‘Jack and Jill Unwashed’.
Clearly you have been changed.
Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.
And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (CSB)
And if once changed, then should we not reflect that changed in our day to day lives? Especially in those situations where the behavior of a Disciple of Jesus should be reflecting a totally different objective than the rest of humanity.
Case in point, the Holiday Season is upon us. If the Holy Spirit is living ‘in us’ then we are the temple for him, and our demeanor should be reflective of the reverence that he deserves. We need not be cognizant of a specific Devine Appointment, because every moment we are exposed to the world, we are testifying to something.
We either testify to the fact that God has affected a change in us and that we are truly different from the rest of the world, or we lack the spiritual fortitude to allow that little light to shine as we have been instructed to do.
Being Curiously Different
It starts with us. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit then we can’t help but feel that direction in our lives, guiding us in the truth to the things we should be doing and reflecting the image of Christ.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (CSB)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions — is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16 (CSB)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (CSB)
All of this is everyday stuff for the Disciple of Christ Jesus, but when the events that are taking place around us distract us from our mission, we can easily find ourselves caught up in it and not behaving in a manner that is in keeping with his grace and mercy extended to us.
If we allow the Spirit to transform us from the inside out then there isn’t an effort involved in doing this, it is a natural extension of Christ love that he gives us. That love he implants in us is contagious and constantly in an outwardly movement to reach others.
Jesus said that it is going to be so obvious who his Disciples are because of the love they hold for each other.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 (CSB)
That love doesn’t end with the brothers and sisters. It extends to all those around you.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (CSB)
And even those that hate us.
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45 (CSB)
Be curiously different, because of the Spirit living in you, because you are a child of the King and a royal priesthood, and our demeanor should reflect that, in action, speech, and thought.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day tomorrow and be even more aware that you might normally be of God Living In YOU! And be Curiously Different, than the world.