Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Being Different

Being Different

I don't wanna hear any more
Teach me to listen
I don't wanna see any more
Give me a vision
That You could move this heart
To be set apart
I don't need to recognize
The man in the mirror
And I don't wanna trade Your plan
For something familiar
I can't waste a day
I can't stay the same
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
Till all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different
In me
And I don't wanna spend my life
Stuck in a pattern
And I don't wanna gain this world
But lose what matters
And so I'm giving up
Everything because
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
Till all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different, oh
I know, that I am far from perfect (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
But through You the cross still says I'm worth it (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
'Cause I just wanna be different, yeah
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
Till all of me is gone
And all that remains
Ooh, is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different
I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me

That song is one of my favorites to listen to.  It reminds me of the truth that Scripture says that we are not to be conformed to this world rather than be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 

We look now to what Dr. David Jeremiah said in today's Morning and Evening:

 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. JOHN 17:4 

Counselors often use a demonstration to help people see how they have compressed time with their frantic lifestyles. They will ask the client, on the “start” signal, to guess when they think a minute has passed. Most compulsive people and people suffering from addictions (even many normal people living in modern times) will say “stop” long before a minute has actually passed. For them, a minute is an eternity, and they drastically overestimate the speed of actual time. Why? Because their lives have become governed not by reality but by unreality. It is unreal what people now try to accomplish in their lives. And because no one can live indefinitely at such a frantic pace, they turn to other things to sustain them. Our perception of time must be geared to God’s eternal perspective, not the perspective of the twenty-four-hour day. The way Jesus lived His life is how we should live ours. Not in a hurry, not under insignificant deadlines, not burdened by unnecessary pressures. Rather, we should be moving in step with God’s schedule. Following God’s schedule, Jesus accomplished more in three years than anyone else could accomplish in a lifetime.

And the Evening portion of the same:

Recall the former days in which . . . you endured a great struggle with sufferings. HEBREWS 10:32 

The cocoon of the emperor moth is flask-like in shape. To develop into a perfect insect, the moth must force its way through the neck of its cocoon with hours of intense struggle. Entomologists explain that this pressure is nature’s way of forcing a life-giving substance into its wings. Wanting to lessen the seemingly needless trials and struggles of the moth, an observer said, “I’ll lessen the pain and struggles of this helpless creature!” With small scissors, he snipped the restraining threads to make the moth’s emergence painless and effortless. But the creature never developed wings. For a brief time before its death, it simply crawled, instead of flying through the air on rainbow-colored wings! If only the moth had been allowed to finish struggling, its life would have been transformed into beauty. Similarly, sorrow, suffering, trials, and tribulations are wisely designed to grow us into being like Christ. Today’s temptation can become tomorrow’s strength; today’s trial, tomorrow’s triumph; today’s crisis, tomorrow’s crown. Christians suffer from spiritual atrophy when they are not strengthened through struggles. The refining and developing processes are oftentimes slow; but through grace, we emerge triumphant.

We who are in Christ aren't supposed to be so indwelled with the world that we can't be seen as different.  We don't come to Christ to sit in the same sins we came to Him to be rid of.

After coming to Christ we are to move away from the practices we have done that lead towards sin. 

We should not give sin a foothold in our lives nor under any circumstances set someone else up for failure in their walk with Jesus. 

This isn't going to be a popular thought but it's real in regards to Scripture.  Pushing allegiance to a sports team is honestly sinful in its behavior. You push acceptable hate that has no place in the work of Christ Jesus. I have examples that I could give whereby in Church services things like this honestly were pushed as acceptable. That if you weren't a fan of that particular team that they would pray for me concerning it. Really?  People are in need of prayer who are going to Hell and your greatest concern is praying that I become a sports fan?

There's no such thing as "made up" hatred for a team. Hatred or anger is sin when it's not righteous anger that is what angers God.  I honestly see idolatry within the scope of the lives of believers when they know more about a sport than they do Jesus. 

We also should look at that last devotional about struggles that are necessary in our lives.  Some we create, others are allowed by God to change us. Some are a necessary part of OUR journey in order to reach an otherwise unreachable person for Christ.  

I keep going back to something Jesus said and that's always a good thing.  You must receive the kingdom of God as a child. 

Adults complicate life in Christ. 

Why are various people dying while others do not?  Why is death happening in the ways that it does? 

Because, God is Holy, God is Sovereign. God is just. In all that God is, God's fulfilling His plan for mankind.  Therefore every life and every death is in accordance with His plan. We may never understand or know any earthly reason. Why?  Because the reason isn't of earthly reasons. 

Point of fact is lives lived are to point people to Christ for salvation. The Cross of Jesus Christ brought choice to the table in choosing Jesus to take our place in the judgment of God concerning sin or we choose to take that judgment ourselves.  When a life is at that point where in God's view is not going to grow any farther in Christ, or isn't going to ever receive Christ, and in all ways will never direct anyone to Christ. Then their lives are considered lived and they leave this world. Everyone will be without excuse when they stand before Jesus on judgment day.  There will never be a single human being who will be able to prove that God failed in giving them a chance to be saved. Even Judas who betrayed Jesus had all the opportunity but still chose to reject Jesus. The other thief on the cross could have said the same as the first and been with Jesus in paradise that day. He chose to say nothing of the kind. That day he looked across that chasm at Jesus from a pained and stark experience in Hell to see what could have been. 

We are to be different in this world. We are not to live such complex lives that there's no room for Jesus. We aren't to fill our lives with even hints at masked idolatry. There's nobody joking about hatred in any form in Heaven.  If we are setting our minds on things above then there's no room for it.

I have hurt many people because of the foolishness of sports team rivalries. I have spent hour and hours engulfed in science fiction books and movies, thus neglecting the Word of God that I could have been in. 
I have participated in exchanges of words that never lifted people up but honestly only tore them down. I have set myself up for failure at many points in my life because I didn't try to be different, I was trying to fit in.  I have often begged God to take away the consequences of my actions. Of circumstances that weren't that I didn't want to go through or to see. Of pain in others that I walked away from.  
The list goes on.  

What we do in Christ is what will be put to the fire at the time we as believers face Jesus for our deeds done in the body.  What will remain of your life's choices? 
What will show after all is revealed? 
Will there really be anything left for you to give back to Jesus?  

Are you a walking billboard for something in this world?  Are you building up others or joining the world in its tearing people down?

Do you grumble and complain because of your life or are you at all trying to be useful to your Savior?  

We are told, yet few believe, that we indeed try to serve two masters.  We try to have two thrones in our hearts or we keep telling Jesus to get up so that we can sit down.  There's another good song that has in its lyrics "King of my heart" referring to Jesus. 

We have to face struggles, have to face death, have to face our fears, in order to be refined and to grow in Christ Jesus. That's the workmanship of Jesus through the Holy Spirit in us.  Nobody in Heaven is going to care about possessions or teams or anything else from this world after we die.  What did we do for our Savior is what we will be about in Heaven.  

We must be different today, we must realize difficult times await those in Christ Jesus because our sin nature and Satan don't want to see a life lived as Jesus wants to live it. We must choose to reject fitting in with the world. We must choose not to give any kind of hatred a foothold.  

What we have done for Jesus and how we have lived for Him is all that matters.  Not success, not even failure as the world sees it.  

1 comment:

  1. Great post! It's so easy to just go with the flow of the world, thinking there's something to be gained. Spot on Brother!