Dare to be Different

Search the Word | Volume 26 No. 5
If Jesus is first in your life, you will reflect His purity, humility, and love.

The soldier tried to convince the dirty young boy that the king wanted to adopt him and make the lad an heir to the throne.

“I don’t want to leave my home,” the boy whined. “I won’t go!”

Sadly, the soldier walked away.

The next orphan was more enthusiastic. “Of course I’ll come!”

“Here is your father’s first gift,” the soldier said, handing him clean, white clothes. “Change into these before you meet him.”

Disdainfully, the boy asked, “Do I have to wear these? If the king won’t accept my clothes, I don’t want to be his son!”

The soldier found another boy and made it clear that to become the king’s son meant to give up everything.

The boy listened thoughtfully. “Well, I’d be happy to change my few cheap things for the king’s gifts! What a deal!” He smiled happily, then reached for the clean clothes.

Like that king, God has provided for us to become His children, heirs to a heavenly home. All He asks is for us to reverence Him and relinquish our worldly habits. What on earth is keeping you from inheriting these riches?

I. A SET APART CHRISTIAN

1. What two reasons does this verse give for why Jesus gave Himself for us? Titus 2:14
2. What happens when we love the things of the world? 1 John 2:15
3. What similar counsel does Paul give concerning the world? Romans 12:2
4. What happens when we have “friendship” with the world? James 4:4
5. What instructions are given for Christians to separate from ungodly people? 2 Corinthians 6:14–17
6. What prayer did Jesus pray for His disciples as they lived and worked in the world? John 17:14–16

When we are “in” the world but not “of” the world, we do not shun people as the Pharisees did; but with a love for souls we are to labor for those around us. Neither do we adopt the world’s ideals and goals and thereby lose our connection with heaven.

II. RADICAL TRANSFORMATION

1. What radical promise did God make to His people in Ezekiel 36:26?
2. What is God’s end goal for this transformation? 2 Corinthians 3:18
3. How can we experience this transformation? Romans 12:2

We see in Romans 12:2 that the power of change is found in letting God work through our minds. This being true, we should be careful with what goes in.

III. GUARDING THE SENSES

1. What are the actions of the righteous when confronted with evil? Isaiah 33:15
2. What did Job do to guard his eyes? Job 31:1
3. How did David guard his senses? Psalms 101:3
4. What else did the psalmist do to defend himself against sin? Psalm 119:11
5. How can we guard our mind? Philippians 4:8
6. What type of songs did Paul recommend for the Christians in the early church? Colossians 3:16

A true Christian will allow these principles to direct all his choices of reading, listening, viewing, recreation, and leisure activities. As a reminder, why not place the words of Philippians 4:8 as a screensaver?

Christians should be watchful of whom they spend time with as well.

7. What does Solomon say about those who choose wise associations? Proverbs 13:20
8. What promise does God make to those who choose not to walk “in the counsel of the ungodly” or “stand in the way of sinners”? Psalm 1:1–3

IV. MODESTY

Modesty is defined as an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves.

1. What motive was behind the extravagant dress of the Pharisees? Matthew 23:5
2. What did the Lord command Israel to take off to show their loyalty to Him? Exodus 33:5, 6
3. How did Peter describe the ornaments of a true Christian woman? 1 Peter 3:3, 4

The Bible associates certain adornment with the vanity of the wicked. See Judges 8:24; 2 Kings 9:30; Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:36–49; Hosea 2:13; Revelation 17:4. The righteous are always identified as having the most valuable adornment—the inward adornment of God’s spirit of purity, holiness, humility, and self-sacrificing love.

4. What has God said about gender distinction in clothing? Deuteronomy 22:5
5. How does the Bible describe the change in the man from whom Christ cast out a legion of devils? Luke 8:26–35

In the 21st century, it is fashionable to dress in near nakedness. Could this be a troubling sign of the mental instability of our modern civilization?

6. How do true Christians respond when they become aware of how God wants them to live and represent Him? 1 John 3:1–3, 22

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” This can also be applied to any aspect of our lifestyle.

SUMMARY

God has called us to be separate and distinct from the world in order to become heirs to His heavenly kingdom. The closer we draw to Him, the more we can experience His transforming power in our lives and influence those around us. Such transformation will permeate every aspect of our lives and direct our choices of daily living and will help us become citizens of heaven.

COMMITMENT

I understand that the lifestyle of a true Christian is markedly different from that of an unbeliever. Christ gave Himself for me so that I may live for Him. By accepting His grace I can live a life that reveals His principles in my thoughts, dress, reading, and all other activities. I desire to do all that is pleasing to God and to rise above the world’s standard and behavior to inherit the riches He has in store for His children.

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