Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:11-14)
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (I Peter 2:9-10)
What comes to your mind when you think of the word "peculiar"?
The dictionary definition says:
1. distinctive; characteristic of only one person, group, or thing.
2. different from what is considered usual or normal; particular, odd, strange.
Did you ever think that you should be considered peculiar by others in this world who are not redeemed by Christ?
Is it most likely that we are putting our great efforts into "fitting in" into the world? Though we claim that our lives are different, and even changed, yet there are days where we are not necessarily shining forth from the darkness of this present world.
We tend to dress the same, eat the same, go with the latest "movement" the same, purchase the latest and greatest items the same, watch tv the same, view movies the same.....
Do we really stand out that much that we are considered.... peculiar?
Have we become so seeker friendly in our personal lives, even in our churches, that it has dulled our senses and calling to what we were truly redeemed for?
"purified to be a peculiar people," "a chosen generation," "a royal priesthood," "a holy nation."
I fear that more often than not we would choose not to be looked upon as strange or odd. We are creatures who desire to belong, to fit in, to be a part of.
Christ, our Lord and Savior, gave Himself for us, redeemed us from our debt of sins, that we might be purified, and able to do the good works, set apart for the holy living He would require of us.
And what might that be....?
deny ungodliness - careful to watch for dishonorable scenes on the television programs we so eagerly get attached to, watchful for a dulled awareness that we are talking about others in a way that is not edifying... but tearing down, wary that we are becoming more materialistic in our wants and desires for things of this world that are not needful in our lives or homes, cautious to catch a covetous attitude creeping in where we want what we cannot have when we compare with others, laughing at things we should not laugh over, using speech that would not be for a holy use, worrying over things that we should not have cares for, spending too much of our time with our "things" and our "social networking" than we do with our Lord and our families...
live soberly - mindful of the times, on the alert for what Satan is capable of as he runs to and fro on our stomping grounds - building up the walls and guarding our homes from the slow fade of unsacred influences.
live righteously - zealous of good works, always looking to serve our Lord in word and deed.
being a good neighbor, an excellent wife, a loving and teaching mom, a discipling sister...
live godly - studying our Lord, praying earnestly for His coming, learning more and more of His ways that we can emulate Him, to be more like Him in this present world.
These are hard things.
This is a high calling.
We are a needy people in a broken world. It is not of our sinful nature to stand out and be counted as odd by taking the high road. We can not choose this on our own.
Yet there is One who calls us to walk that path. It is rough looking. The way is narrow, and many times there is only enough light for the steps being taken. It is the strange choice. It is the road less travelled. It is the Road of the Redeemed.
We are in this world, we therefore must walk on its byways and highways. However we are not to be of this world. This, in and of itself is a peculiar calling. It is not an easy choice, but it is the only choice if you wish to please the One who died for you.
He stands and beckons to you.
Will you answer the call? Will you dare to be different?
Choose today whom you will serve. The days grow short, and the times are near where you may find that "fitting in" and following the usual and normal way was not what it seemed, and the sadness it brings with it must be accepted...
Seek Jesus as a precious jewel. He is our treasure. Do not give up! Be peculiar for your Lord.
You may just find you will be surprised by joy...