Zion Baptist Church
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - January 2011
In the book of I Peter (2:9) followers of Christ are called peculiar. I always thought the word “peculiar” meant odd or not normal. A definition from a dictionary says the word peculiar, when used as an adjective, is exclusively individual; appropriate; strange. A peculiarity is a distinguishing mark. Why are the Lord’s people “peculiar”? Here’s a few “peculiarities”.
Sometimes it seems that those who practice Christianity (to the extent that anyone who watches them can tell they are a Christian) are the most held back by society and by the business world. Christians are deemed judgmental because their standard of morality doesn’t agree with the world’s standard. If you disagree with the politically correct belief that homosexuality is OK, abortion is OK, living together without benefit of marriage is OK, and babies born to unwed mothers are OK, you are judgmental. We are not allowed to call sin SIN anymore. We have alternative lifestyles, not immoral behavior.
God has given His “peculiar” people instructions on the proper way to live. He has called us to be His people, and to follow His commandments. God can be the boss of Christians and tell them how to behave because He owns us. He created us, and as His creation, we belong to Him. When we accept God’s Son, Jesus, as our personal Savior, we become children of God, joint heirs with Christ. So as our Father, He can certainly demand a standard of behavior that is acceptable to Him, and not the world.
Isaiah 66:5 “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”
Look at verses 9 and 10 to find out what “such were some of you”. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Aren’t you glad your name isn’t in that list? It could so easily be, however, if you have not accepted Jesus as Savior, and allowed Him control of your heart, mind, and body.
Having the Lord in control keeps us apart from the things in which the world seems to revel. When we are doing His will, we are not living immorally. We do not practice sin as a way of life. We know the difference between right and wrong and the Holy Spirit convicts us when we do wrong. Big sin, little sin, white lie, big fat lie, we know SIN is SIN, and we know that is not what God desires in our lives. The Holy Spirit works in us to keep us set apart from sin.
Remember that laundry list in I Corinthians 6 of things from which we have been separated. Prayer about our lives and the things we are tempted with is what keeps us a peculiar people. Prayer is our communication with god. God is our strength. Reliance on God is what keeps us from the things of the world. Prayer is our means of asking God for help in times of trouble. Prayer allows us to thank God for the good things He has given us. Prayer allows us to ask for guidance in choosing the paths we travel in this world. Prayer is as necessary to the Christian as breathing. Prayer shouldn’t be a public spectacle for the benefit of anyone watching us. “See me pray. I am good. I am a ‘Christian’.” God told us how to pray in Matthew 6:6. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
For those who need a pattern of prayer, read Matthew 6:9-13. Praise of God, acknowledging His power, request for needed sustenance, request for forgiveness of sins, request for protection from the world, and recognition of His authority are all in these few verses.
Prayer is an important part of the Christian’s life. Just as we believe that God sees everything, we believe He hears our prayers, and we believe He will take care of us. And even though sometimes it may seem that bad people are rewarded and good people suffer, we also know the Lord does not reward evil, and all people are judged by a righteous God.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” I Peter 3:12