Set Apart for God


Two people walk into a room looking very similar; same racial, gender, and social-economic background. They’re even wearing the exact same suit. Yet, these two individuals are perceived very differently by other’s in the room. Most will formulate an opinion about the two before either of them utter a word. Maybe after a few minutes of conversing, some people might gravitate towards one more than the other. Its things like this that make you go, hmmm. With all external factors being equal, what is it about us that makes us all distinct, even though our external appearances may be incredibly similar?  I’ve always found this interesting.

As I maneuver throughout my day, I sometimes sit back and watch how people interact with one another, how they converse and go about their everyday lives. I especially observe how my friends and acquaintances interact with others, and in comparison, I’ve noticed the differences in how they interact with me. They all know that my relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ is very important to me. I’m not invited to certain events they attend and some of the places they go. There are some experiences they simply won’t or don’t share with me. On the upside, they’re a little more restrained when it comes to profanity and such. Also, I’m typically the first person they ask for good advice, and they seem to have a different level of respect for me; at least that’s the way it feels.

As born-again Christians, we are set apart and chosen, not because we’re so special, but because God has chosen us to be His people, and we have responded to His overwhelming love. This set-apartness is not simply a quality or state of being; it’s who we are. 1 Peter 2:9-10 The Message (MSG) tells us, “9-10 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” God has set us apart from the rest of world, and we are called by Him to be beacons of His love.

We have been set apart by God to be holy because He is holy, and we are a part of Him. We are His children. We live out and through God’s holiness by telling the world the good news about Jesus Christ, that through him they can come out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

Some of my friends and acquaintances have clicks and groups that they belong to, and sometimes there is a purpose for which they all come together to accomplish. Whether it’s cultural, artistic, charitable, or something unproductive, people don’t seem to mind being earmarked for belonging to a group they identify with. They will have meetings, functions, and/or other activities, and expend their resources and energy as long as they feel they’re getting something out of it. As God’s chosen ones, we can’t do less than this. We must do more.

We didn’t chose Him first, He chose us and did so for a particular purpose. He tells us in Romans 12:1-2 The Message (MSG), “1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

The decision to give our lives to God through the Lord Jesus Christ and receive salvation takes place in a single moment, but the set-apartness or sanctification is a process that will require our entire lives. Jesus Christ will sanctify us as we grow in faith and become more spiritually mature. God changes us from the inside out. It is important that we yield to the Holy Spirit that indwells us, and allow him to control our lives. This means that our character, conversations, attitudes, and behaviors should be Christ-like.

We are God’s children, and the way we should respond to His love, mercy, and grace is to be an example of who He is. He knows that we’re going to make mistakes. We’re not perfect, but remember that He looks at our hearts. We learn in 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT), “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Heavenly Father knows when our hearts truly are to please Him and to walk in holiness.

There are many qualities that we admire and pick-up on about each other, but there’s nothing in the universe that resembles the holiness of God. His Word tells us that holiness, this set-apartness, is the characteristic of His people. There are great rewards and blessings of holiness. One of them is that God’s Spirit dwells within us. Acts 7:48 tells us that our bodies are His temple, and as we honor our temples by demonstrating thoughts, attitudes, conversations, and actions of Christ, people can’t help but respond to the best within us. The most important aspect of holiness is that we get to have a relationship with God. As we renew our minds with His Word, we will fulfill His perfect Will, and remain set apart for His purpose.■

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Set Apart for God”, written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2018. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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