Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Peculiar People

Have you ever had anyone refer to you as a peculiar person? If you are a Christian you can take that as a compliment because God’s people are called peculiar. In 1 Peter 2:9 we read: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Why are Christians peculiar? Because Christians are different. Peter says that “they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4). In addition, Paul says that Christians are separate from the world in 2 Corinthians 6:16-17. A Christian is peculiar in many different ways. They are peculiar in Name as referenced in Acts 11:26 and in 1 Peter 4:16. Here we can read that this peculiar person is called Christian. The Christian is also known for their great faith (Romans 1:8) and the life they live (1 Peter 4:3-4). A Christian always strives to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the gospel of Christ and as a result knows God (Hebrews 8:10-11). Speech is also another way that you can tell that a Christian is peculiar. Paul says “Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” (Titus 2:8).

So why would one want to be a peculiar person? First and most of all to be counted as one of God’s people (1 Peter 2:9-10). Also because Christ gave Himself on the cross for us, and to obtain mercy, to be redeemed, to be in the light, and to show forth God’s excellencies. We should all strive to become peculiar! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Delight of Being a Christian!

Our delight, day in and day out, should be in the ways of the Lord. Christians should definitely have peace of mind and be the happiest of all people who inhabit the earth. When we rise up in the morning until we lay our head down to sleep at night we should be mindful that it is the Lord God of heaven that we diligently serve. It should be our desire to want to love and be obedient to all of God’s teachings. It is our desire to want to read from the holy pages of His inspired word every single day. We look forward to starting each day in communication through prayer to our almighty God. The Christian life is a life of joy as we continue to develop a Christ-like character with each passing day! The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). Christians love God and appreciate His law. We enjoy meditating on His word because it is so refreshing to us. Christians are thankful that we are saved through the blood of Christ, having been obedient to God’s plan of salvation, so that we can live forever with Jesus when our life on this earth is over. Being a Christian is truly a delight and that is why we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30)! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Raised with Christ

Most every Christian will say that when they were baptized into Christ, then they were “raised with Christ.” It is true that we are “raised with Christ” when we come out of the watery grave of baptism, having our sins washed away. However it is so sad that far too many do not live like they have been “raised WITH Christ.” Actions do speak much louder than words. The apostle Paul wrote, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them” (Colossians 3:1-7).  Christians who have truly been “raised WITH Christ” will demonstrate that fact in their day to day life knowing that they have died to sin, putting to death the carnal things of life. One who now walks with Christ is one who sets their mind on heavenly things and not earthly things. What a great sense of encouragement it would be to all Christians IF all Christians understood the importance of what it really means to be “raised WITH Christ.” All Christians need to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.....” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Life on earth is very short, eternity is forever. Let’s make sure that we are living WITH Christ and FOR Christ each and every day. Our eternity with Christ depends on it! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Doing It "My Way"

When it comes to things religious, it seems like many people today have the attitude of "I'm going to do it my way." This attitude is not new. This was the very attitude that separated the Israelites from their heavenly Father. "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Based on these passages of scripture, we can see that if we take the attitude of "I'm going to do it my way," it will ultimately result in spiritual death. There are two ways in which this can happen: 1) Out of ignorance. We can decide to remain ignorant by not studying the scriptures so that we can "do it my way." But God will not accept our ignorance. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). 2) Out of rebellion. We can know what the will of God is and simply rebel by saying "I'm going to do it my way anyhow." We rebel against God when we knowingly violate His inspired Word by the way we worship (instrumental music, Lord's Supper once a month, etc.), in our recreation (gambling, drinking, practicing worldly things), in our speech, in our dress, and whatever else we may do that violates the teaching of God. God will not accept our rebellion; we must do it His way: "not my will, by Yours be done." Our creator and righteous God also said, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17), and "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). May we all strive to ensure that we are practicing the things of God with a submissive attitude that says, "I'll do it God's way!"