Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why are you set apart?

"But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him," Psalm 4:3.
This word translated "set apart" literally means "distinguish" in the original. We are to be "distinguished" from this world. We live in this world and must do many things that everyone around us is doing, whether they doing so "as to Christ" or not. We all must eat, we all need sleep, we all have to-do lists to finish and people who are counting on us for something. But we are distinguished by how and *why* we go about these daily tasks. Those without the hope of salvation in Christ will drift from activity to activity, but we as God's children have been given a purpose for all that we do. We are to bring glory to God and to worship him, and he has called us to share his word with others. 1 Timothy 4:16 says, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
We are to pay heed to "the doctrine". Psalm 1 says it this way; "delight... in the law of the Lord... in his law... meditate day and night". And as we study, hide away, and honor the Lord's precious words, we not only become more like him, more eager to live his will, less hungry for the temporary things of this world; we will also be given ways to share with "those that hear" us. 
My sister and I were eating lunch with a friend, when suddenly this sweet lady stopped and asked me, "You don't date, do you?" I agreed that no, I do not and don't plan on it, either. Her face was filled with genuine interest as she asked, "So, how do you plan on getting a husband?" I was able to share with her that I am trusting the Lord to bring marriage about if that is His will for me, and I shared with her that I do not feel that dating either qaurantees marriage, or helps one stay pure. It was a short, simple conversation, but the point was, this friend knew we do things differently, and was curious as to how and why. I think that the most important part of being set apart is one we might not think of when we think of the phrase; knowing WHY we are set apart. We are called to be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity," 1 Timothy 4:12. But as others see that example, they will want to know what makes us do things differently. Can we answer this question when it is put to us? We can follow Christ's commands to the letter, but if we can not "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15), it will not be an example that others can give credit to. "That's just how we do it" or "I'm supposed to" are not satisfactory answers to those who notice that the life that we lead is different. We must be so sure of the Lord's Word that we have confidently share it with those around us at every chance we are given. Let us "not [be] ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth", Romans 1:16.

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"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11