True and Proper Worship

1 Corinthians 4:7
“For who makes you different from anyone else?”

Immediately noticeable in the midst of the herd of black cows was one that was white. This cow stood out from the rest, easily recognizable, clearly different.

In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul writing to the believers in Rome wrote, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

In our world where political correctness demands that all conform to the societal edicts of the day — we fear being different. We have witnessed the incalculable ramifications to those whose voice would not be silenced as they stood out, stood up and stood firm in faith, believing God and His Word. We have observed the professional, political and personal demise of brothers and sisters who dared to be different and we envision our own demise should we follow suit.

We need not conceal our distinctiveness because of fear and anxiety. God is able to keep us in the midst of a world run amuck. Psalm 12 reads, “You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race.”

We are washed white by the blood of Christ even as the blackness of sin surrounds us. We are different because Jesus Christ lives within us. Isaiah 51 speaks to the hearts of the redeemed, “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.” Take heart, the righteousness of the Lord will last forever and His salvation through all generations.

Our distinctiveness defines who we are in Christ and His work in this world is completed as we stand fast in the face of adversity and criticism, daring to be different.

Father God, May you strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’ (Isaiah 35). In the name of Christ, our Lord, we pray. Amen.

Author: Jshafe

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