It takes courage to be different when you know it’s the right thing to do. Most people don’t want to stick out from the crowd and be made fun of or even worse, ridiculed for what’s considered by others to be pretentious or self-righteous behaviour. If you have been a follower of Jesus for any length of time you know that’s the risk you are forced to take over and over. You have to choose between saying and doing what Jesus would if he were in your place and going along with the common practices of the world that are not pleasing to God.
Children don’t have a big struggle in being intentionally true to their convictions when they are young but as they get older, particularly as teenagers, the pressure to conform to the behaviours of their peers increases dramatically. Young people who are well grounded in Biblical principles have a good chance of staying solid in their faith and building Christlike character that will sustain them. Adults face tough choices every day that test their resolve to be faithful to Jesus in all kinds of situations. Again, those who are consistently connecting with Christ through prayer, worship, the word and church family life will be equipped to make good choices and live without regret.
This Sunday I am continuing our series ‘Transformed – Decidedly Different’. We are going to explore further what it means to be non-conforming to our culture and why that’s good for us in a variety of ways. I want you to be affirmed in your faith as you learn how God looks at you and what he’s doing in you and me as we make the deliberate choice to live the Jesus’ way in everything we do. I will address why it is that we feel a restlessness inside and when that will find ultimate completeness. We will also partake of communion together that will both honour Christ and feed our souls.
One of the great things of being part of a vibrant church family like ours is the regular opportunities to connect with each other for encouragement, fellowship, equipping and ministry in the Spirit. Sure, we are choosing to be different than most by our priorities and we may be made fun of or worse because of it. But never forget that we have been called by God to live this way so that others can clearly see the light of Christ in us in contrast to the dark world around us.
In preparation for the message, read 1 Peter 2:4-12 and write down how God sees you, what God is doing in you and how living differently is impacting the world around you. You will notice that you are referred to as an alien and stranger. But don’t worry - that’s what God calls you and, as it turns out, one day you won’t feel like an alien any more. As good as it is now, it is going to be even better then.
I’m looking forward to meeting with you on Sunday…..see you then.