Being Different

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • November 7, 2014
The early church considered not having the Old Testament in our Bible. But sharper minds and wiser hearts, thank God, prevailed. The story found in I Samuel 8 is a key reason why. Israel pouted and demanded that God let them have a king. They wanted to be like Egypt and Syria and the nations round about. They wanted pomp and circumstance and power and clout. They wanted security, with a standing army ready to kick the Philistines if they took the notion. They wanted a place in the sun. God wanted them to be a holy nation. God wanted them to listen to Moses and listen to the Spirit and respond with grateful hearts. Israel wanted their own way, not God's way. The prophets scolded Israel for their "be like everybody else" attitude. They didn't much like being scolded, so they killed the prophets or ignored them. Israel decided God's commands were too severe and God's promises too distant and elusive. So they took after all the other gods who still get our votes and our money and make it on our daily "to do list." They took after the gods who couldn't care less if we are good and loving and grateful and holy -- to use a Bible word. They took after the gods who promise everything we want and nothing people really need. Being a Christian means being different. Being a Christian means spending our time and energy and money differently than other people. We go to church on Sunday. We spend time serving and helping in Christ's name. And we give a substantial portion of our money to extend the reach of Christ in the present time. This Sunday is our opportunity to be different -- to put it plainly -- to be a genuine Christian.