Our first snow was a wet, heavy snow. It stuck to tree limbs (especially those that still had leaves) and was perfect for making snowmen or snow caves. For an area where moisture is hard to come by and that is far behind in rainfall totals, this snowfall is welcomed relief.
Last night’s snow was a lighter, fluffier snowfall. The type of snow doesn’t hold much moisture. It doesn’t stick to trees (unless they still had snow from yesterday’s occurrence) and making a snowman is just plain frustrating. However, the drier snow does make for some great skiing (so I’ve been told) and is much easier to remove.
While we can say, “it snowed” in each of these instances, these two snowfalls were different.
Much like the fact that we as Christians are to be different than the world. We have been called to be different.
Jesus spoke of this in Matthew chapter 5. This is the section where Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. If we blend in with the world, we will be ineffective. But by being salt and light, we have the opportunity to do one thing. Lead the world to Jesus. And in doing so, they will in turn praise God.
There are other passages that make this point as well.
The verse you probably know off the top of your head is from Romans 12. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 – NIV) Verse 1 of this chapter tells us that we are living sacrifices as we offer our bodies, minds, and lives to God. We are breaking from the pattern of the world.
Paul carries this message through when he writes to the Church at Corinth. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 – NIV) If we are a new creation in Christ, we must be different than what we once were.
Another difference is how we wage war. Again in 2 Corinthians 10:1-6, Paul states that “our weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4 – NIV) When we use the weapons given by God and His Holy Spirit, we are able to fight the spiritual battle effectively. Look at Ephesians 6:10-18 to see the armor that God provides the Christian.
In Galatians 2:20 (NIV), Paul points us to another way we are different than the world. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” In a world that says, “Do whatever you want,” God commands us to live by His Spirit, not our own. I know I am thankful for the power that I receive from God’s Spirit when I am weakest. It is by His Spirit that I am able to be different.
Colossians 3:9-10 (NIV) also tells us, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” There are so many points in this passage that shows we are different from the world.
First we see that we believe in a Creator. And that Creator created us in His image. Then we see that we are not to lie. In a world of untruths, honesty brings refreshment. And then we are to be renewed in knowledge. When we study God’s Word, we will be transformed. We will be a new creation. We will be different.
And finally, we can see how different we are from the world because God chose us. Peter speaks of this in 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV). “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
To the world I am ordinary, plain, and unwanted, but I know that I am chosen by God. I know that He has called me from the darkness into light. Because of this truth, I can boldly say, “I am different!”
Wet snow. Dry snow. Different.
Darkness. Light. Different.
Sinful-nature. Spirit-filled. Different.
Conformed. Transformed. Different.
Old self. New self. Different.
Are you different?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,