The Difference between You and Me

September 29, 2016

The Difference between You and Me

Acts 15:8-9

And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

We are people that tend to be exclusive in our thinking and how we see the acceptance of others.  We tend to want to be more white or more black, more American, more spiritual, more exclusive in one way or another.  Our faith in Jesus Christ is a melding pot where our exclusive thinking and the differences that separate us need to end.  Are we still going to be different once we are in Christ? Of course there will be differences in who we are, God made us that way.  God made us different to serve and function in different capacities, but not to be exclusive over one another.  Yes there will always be those greater than us and those lesser.   Difference doesn’t mean there isn’t an order of things.  Unfortunately we often use our differences to exclude certain individuals or groups from our circle of acceptance.  It takes on many forms and names, but it is a form of prejudiced thinking.  

In God’s gift of salvation none have been excluded who would approach the throne of grace and embrace by faith the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Jews used to be God’s chosen people, which excluded the Gentiles, those outside the Jewish faith.  Jesus broke down that partition wall that separated Jew and Gentile.  Galatians 3:26-29 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  When any of us come to Christ by faith and have our sins washed in the blood we are each given, as it were, a robe of righteousness that is not of our own, but is fashioned in the image of Christ who freely gave it to us.  When the Father looks over the body of Christ, is He looking for a body comprised of differences and schisms?  Or, is He looking for a body that is functioning in the unity of the Son of God and His love according to the differences and unique gifting that He has given each one? Our bodies are made up of many different kind of cells, but all of those cells function together to make the unity of the whole.

Do you ever notice how when we meet people we try and judge and evaluate them by their likeness or differences to us?  Does the love of God focus on the differences of people to determine whether we should accept them or reject them or does it meet people where they are based on the love of the one who has redeemed us from our sin?   Why was Jesus considered the friend of publicans and sinners when they were so different from the righteousness of who He was?  He became the avenue and way for us to lose our differences as we become in faith identified with His life and purpose. He also brought a sword that separates, because those that hold to darkness will refuse to come into the light.  They, without faith, will always stand in opposition to those who are in Christ. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make us better than our neighbor who rejects Him.  The difference is that our faith in the Lord’s righteousness and His salvation redeems us from the condemnation of that darkness in which we once dwelled.  Because of what we found and the grace of God that now works in us we should not be looking down on those without Christ, but showing forth the love God toward them through a humble and loving life.  We need to be living Christ before them that they may be drawn, as we were, to the unconditional love and provision of God’s grace through Christ. Father God has provided access and entry to all men and has excluded none, but the way in is through faith in His Son who paid the price and made the way to bring us into the kingdom of heaven.  It is open to whosoever will.  The difference between you and me is often a matter of choice.  It is not matter of whether I am right or wrong, it is matter of whether God’s Word is right or wrong.  I choose to believe that it is right?  That is often the difference.




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