by Pastor Mark Jordan

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10, NIV)

Different … an adjective that means, “not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality. Novel and unusual. Distinct and separate.” In New Testament Greek, it means, “another of the same kind; another of a similar type.”

What do you think when you hear the word, different? Do you want to be different? We don’t always want to be different, do we? We are prone to expending a lot of time, energy, and money trying not to be different. We want to fit in, to belong. But isn’t it true we find more problems for ourselves when we set aside the parts of us that are special, unique, awesome, amazing, and different in order to fit in? Even Jesus taught about this when he asked rhetorically, what good is it to gain the world but lose your soul (Matthew 16:26)?

When you look at some of the aspects of life, don’t you want it to be different? This was specifically true for me at the New Year. I want 2018 to be different. If I think that changing a calendar will make the difference without changing my mindset, we’ll, then, things will likely play out the same as before.

You were made to be different. This year, and your life, can be different. It can be another of the same kind, but you must really focus on what — or, Who, in the case of the Jesus follower — makes it different. I want to be unlike anything in nature, form, or quality. I want to be novel and unusual. I want to be distinct and separate. Do you?

Consider today’s Bible lesson. God calls you out of the darkness of the same ol’ ho-hum way of living. God wants you to experience His light that comes in the Light of the World, His Son, and Your Savior, Jesus Christ. God wants you to know that He extends His grace and mercy to you, so you can be His…part of His forever family…changing your life to change the world. This is how you can be different, and this is how your world can be different…by choosing God and His way, forfeiting the urge to conform to the ways of the world, but find transformation in the love, grace, and mercy of God given to you in Jesus Christ.

“Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

Let’s do what it takes to look the world, and life differently, thanks to God.

Let’s not just change the calendar and hope that this year will be different.

Let’s choose God, enter into His light, and live as a cherished part of His forever family.

Let’s be different.

Prayer: Dear God, I want to be different. Forgive me for the times I end up conforming to the ways of this world as opposed to allowing you to transform me, my life, and those I do life with. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.