I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.
John 16:20 NLT
Yes, disciples of Christ are a “peculiar people” compared to the rest of the world. And disciple is not a great title that is beyond you to bear, friend.
“A disciple is a follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or other figure. ” – Wikipedia
Let’s not get religious and start putting other people on pedestals so that we can minimize our own value in Christ’s eyes and the purpose and calling that Christ has upon each of our individual lives. But let’s understand that each of us has great value and purpose in the eyes of the Lord. Each of us is meant to be a disciple and to make disciples. That is the call. Yes, even you.
The world rejoices over those who seek titles and honor and wealth and pleasure and temptations and distractions and all sorts of wickedness. Just turn on your television these days and you can see what the world glorifies and gives honor to. And when we were serving that master, we were like the world. But we have been set apart as a peculiar people for His use.
And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:8-9 NLT
And there are those who will make claim that it is narcissistic, prideful above all things to take something in the Bible said to another group of people and apply it to ourselves – Yes, I know the venom of that liar’s voice. I know the voice of the one who is no shepherd at all and who does not feed the sheep but who instead feed upon them. Take this Word of God and apply it to your heart and to your lives, children of God. Take hold of your inheritance like your brothers and sisters have done before you.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Acts 10:34-35 ESV
Do you see that He accepts all who fear Him and do what is right? That He shows no favoritism? That you are just as much a Child of God as any of those children mentioned in the Bible if you will just hear His call and choose Him over the world – not just a one time choice, but a change of direction to do what is right because you believe and respect, His divine instruction and guidance. You are to be set apart, chosen, with a purpose and value to God.
And many will say, but look what I have done. Look at my past. God cannot use me. I’ve been an addict. I’ve been a drunk. I’ve hurt people. I’ve been a thief. I’ve been a liar. I’ve committed adultery. I’ve been divorced. I’ve murdered. I’ve hurt innocent children. I’ve hurt women. I’ve chased after the things of this world. I’ve participated in things that were satanic, the occult, witchcraft, religions and traditions of man. I too know that liar’s voice – but he has no authority here anymore.
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:19-20 ESV
Have you not yet realized that every person in the Bible has clear flaws except one. Only Christ fulfilled the law and His offering of grace is sufficient for you, dear friend.
He is ready to do a work in your life. He is the stumbling block that leaves us no room for excuses, because He says, let me come live in you and I will do the work, I will overcome your demons, I will change your life – all you must do is hear my call and choose to follow me.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV
The world sees a life surrendered to Christ, not keeping wealth for yourself but sharing freely with others who cannot pay you back as foolish, but to His children, He says:
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord , and he will repay him for his deed.
Proverbs 19:17 ESV
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Luke 14:12-14 ESV
The world says that giving a glass of water to the thirsty, or food to the hungry, or giving encouragement to those in prison is foolish and is enabling those “who aren’t contributing to society”, but to His children, He says:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:34-40 ESV
Yes, we have laid hold of a treasure greater than what can be held or tasted or enjoyed upon this earth and have set our eyes upon a greater treasure indeed – Christ as our portion and our prize.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44 ESV
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:7-10 ESV
So we must ask ourselves, “Do I love Him? ”
And if our first answer is yes, we must ask ourselves, “Does my life example demonstrate clearly to others that I love Him?”
And this is the answer that proves us to be a peculiar people, set apart for His use. For many will be comfortable with the first question, but will turn back from the narrow path of a living, surrendered life to be satisfied practicing empty religious sacrifices in His name. But how many truly love the Lord and will follow Him along the narrow path?
Remember, it does not even take your own strength, He will guide you and teach you and establish your steps, but we each choose who we will follow and who we will serve.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
John 8:31-32, 34-36, 42-47 ESV