by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” (1 Peter 2:12, MSG)
This week we are looking what it means to live as strangers in never a strange world. This is the daily reality for a Jesus follower who has to war against the inner desires that are in conflict with God’s plan for our lives. While in the midst of that conflict, we must remember that we must adopt a godly mindset where the Lord is first and we love our neighbor as we love self. That is a life centered in loving service and sacrifice! To some that would seem to splinter the soul, when in reality, it is the fulfillment of God’s desire for you and me.
Living for Jesus each and every day is the best way to deal with this struggle. Commit to Jesus first thing in the morning to walk with him. Ask for his help with the times where you might feel tempted to stray. Ask for his strength when you might be afraid to do the right thing. And ask for his grace to empower you to live a holy life.
The word, holy, is literally translated as “set apart.” God wants you to know that your relationship with him is one being set apart. Note this doesn’t say sequestered. God wants you to live your life in the world set apart for him in such a way that you shine his light and share his love wherever you are. Peter’s point is the set-apart life is irresistible. Like a moth to the flame, people will want to know what makes you different and gives you the hope you have in a lost and lonely world. This is exactly why you cannot afford to get too cozy in the world, because you are deployed to help change it, and change it by living for Jesus in all that you say and do.
How would this look in your life today? How can knowing you are set apart change the way you interact with people at home, work, school, recreation, and out in the community just doing life? Peter teaches that people will note the difference and be drawn to Jesus. May that be the way we approach today, so we can help others catch a glimpse that this world is not their home and not to get to comfy-cozy in this world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to remember that I a man set apart for you. I know this doesn’t mean I am sequestered from the world, so forgive me for the times I fall into the trap of either engaging our culture too much, or not at all. I pray for your help in the name of Jesus. Amen.