ARE YOU DIFFERENT?
(1 Pet 2:9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people . . .
The Amish people are very interesting. We were on vacation recently and drove out to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When we arrived at this beautiful farm country we immediately saw the Amish in their black, horse-drawn buggies. I thought to myself, “Is this really them?” And sure enough, as we overtook a buggy on the country road and looked in, there was a real live Amish man with the distinctive beard and outfit. Later on, we saw the women who wear their particular head coverings and dresses. Then we saw the children riding their push scooters. I couldn’t believe it. It’s amazing how they live like their ancestors years ago that emigrated from Europe. (The name Amish is derived from Jakob Amman, a Swiss Mennonite bishop). And here they are after all these years living in a world within a world with curious onlookers and occasional mockers.
There is another group of people that were quite peculiar. They were the Rechabites. Years before, Jonadab the son of Rechab commanded that a certain lifestyle be maintained by his descendants. They were to never drink wine or build a house, never sow seed or plant a vineyard, but dwell in tents and just be sojourners in the land. Jeremiah the prophet was told by the Lord to test the Rechabites by inviting them over and offering them wine by way of hospitality. They refused and said they were forbidden to do so because of the original command of Jonadab, son of Rechab. Jeremiah contrasted their faithfulness to their ancestor with the faithlessness of the people of Judah to the Lord. (Jer 35)
Peter said that we are the Lord’s own special people. The King James Version says we are a “peculiar people”. But what it really means is that we are a tribe (people group) of God’s own possession; we are God’s property. That we belong to the Lord in a special way through Christ and are therefore God’s own special people, different from the world.
Are you different from the world? Do people look at you and think you’re a little odd because of your obedience to Christ? Well, that’s okay because Jesus said the world wouldn’t accept us (John 15:18-19). The Bible says we are strangers and pilgrims here on this earth (Heb 11:13) and that our citizenship is really in heaven (Phil 3:20). We might not fit in with the world, but we sure do fit in with the Lord and His plan to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Rom 12:2)
You don’t have to grow a beard and drive a buggy. You don’t have to live in a tent and never grow a garden. But we are called to be the Lord’s own special people because of our relationship with Christ. The world wants to squeeze you into its mold. But don’t let it. Be different . . . and make a difference for Jesus today!