Set Apart in A Status Quo World

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's a beautiful Alabama morning, and the first day of a new month. And being that it's the begining of a new month, I decided that there's no better way to begin this month than with the Word of God. So here we go.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (3) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (4) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (5) so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (6) We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying let him use it in proportion to his faith. (7)If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; (8) if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”- Romans 12:1-8.
If God calls us to be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1), then shouldn’t what we wear, what we speak, and the way we choose to live out our lives on a daily basis be based on the question “how does this glorify Him”? Because everything we do can be considered to be an act of worship. So here’s the big question, is the way you live your life holy and pleasing to God? When we chose to invite Christ to come dwell within us we were called to consecrate our selves, to set ourselves apart. To often we say “Here God, you can have this part of me, but you can’t have this, you can’t have my relationship with my boyfriend/girlfriend, I like this music, I know it’s not pleasing to you, but I like it, you can’t have it.” And we try to tell God what parts of us, what parts of our lives, He is allowed to be apart of, and we try to set boundaries for Him. But the reality is that God can’t be kept inside of a box. Wake up people, the reality is this, the life we do have, we only have because God has allowed us to live another day, another hour, another second, so why shouldn’t we give everything we are to the one who is life, the one who gave us life? I love the way the message reads, it states it like this: “So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” We are to be set apart for Him, and for His purpose, and the change that happens will be a change from the inside out. We must first change the way we think before we can change how we act or what we say.
To do this, we must make the concise choice to take the road less traveled, to make decisions that my cause us to be rejected by our peers. 1 Peter 2:4-6 tells us that with the choice to follow Christ comes rejection, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him.” We are told that in this life we will experience the feeling of rejection, but it doesn’t end there, in fact it can only get better because we were chosen by Him. When the world discarded us, the King of kings chose us to be His very own, and not just that, He calls us His, we are precious to Him. It continues in verse five by saying “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house [a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (6) For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (NIV). As Christians God is shaping us for His purpose, and that purpose is to be a holy priesthood. He has called us to be in this world, but not of it. Yes, there is a difference, to be OF the world is to act the same way the world does, to talk the way they talk. To be IN the world is just to simply live amongst the people, not necessarily doing as they do, or talking as they talk. The people of the world should be able to look at our lives from a distance and say “hey, there’s something different about him, he’s not like the other Christians.” According to this verse we are not only chosen by Him, but we are “a precious cornerstone.” Something that is precious is something that is cherished or valued, it is something that is of a high cost or worth. Am I the only one who thinks that this is incredibly amazing? It continues to blow me away every time I read this verse and I still find it hard sometimes to believe that the King of kings finds us to be of such great worth that He sent His son to die for us. But He did, and I am so thankful for that!