Jesus, Salvation

Set Apart

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I spy with my little eye, one clematis flower. It’s small, but it stands out against the heart-shaped morning glory leaves. Underneath this vine, that has taken over the corner of our fence, is a clematis. Still growing, still blooming. It’s been dwarfed by morning glory vines. I love the contrast of pink petals among vibrant green leaves.

Sometimes I feel like this as a Christ Follower. The lone flower, trying to shine my little light, amid some pretty leaves. Maybe you feel this way too, as a Christian. We were never meant to be like the world. We are different, set apart.

The Greek word  aphorizō means set off by boundary, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.:–divide, separate, sever.¹

Aphorizo is used in 2 Corinthians 6:17.

“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:17, NASB 

Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:11. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Paul tells us not to be yoked with unbelievers. What does yoke mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, a yoke is a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.
Unequally yoked oxen will have one weaker ox, and the other strong. Or one small ox, and the other one big. It’s ineffective. As Christians we are not to be yoked with non-believers. As in marriage, business partners, and close friendships. If we are yoked, we are working toward the same goal. If we have different convictions, then it won’t work effectively. There will be conflict. Same yoke, two different views.
This does not mean that Christians cannot be friends with non-Christians. True, close friendships will be with fellow believers. I have plenty of non-believing friends, whom I love dearly. Our friendship has limits because we don’t share the same faith, the same hope.

Christ Followers are set apart to be holy. We are to let the love of  Jesus shine through us.  We are vessels that now belong to God. We are not extra special. Jesus Christ is available to every single person who chooses Him.

And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15, NASB 

I was dead in my sin before I knew Jesus Christ as my Savior.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2, NASB 

Now I belong to Jesus and I am alive with Him.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5, NASB 

Being set apart as a Christian means we are different than the world and its ways.  When I say the world, I mean anyone or anything that is opposed to Jesus. It’s offensive to the world to profess Christianity. We will be hated. Jesus was hated too.

 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:18-19, NASB 

Those of us who call ourselves Christians are to be holy, chosen by God to shine His marvelous light on those who don’t yet know Him. We are set apart for a purpose. God’s purpose.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9, NASB 

It is a blessing and an incredible privilege to be set apart by God. Christ followers get to be part of what He is doing. He wants to use us. Let’s shine our lights, or our pretty pink flowers among the vines. God will shine through us to reach a lost world.

Do you know Him? Jesus paid your sin debt in full. He’s just waiting for you to reach out to Him because He loves you so much.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

If you need prayer please leave your request on my contact page or in the comments.

 

1.https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G873/aphorizo.htm

Faith, God, Uncategorized

God Loves You

frozen wave against sunlight

I will never forget the day I finally understood that God really loved me. I was 18, and always knew in my head that I was loved by God. Deep down though, I questioned that love. There was no way God loved me. It couldn’t be that simple. I was not worthy of such love. That perfect love was for the perfect people, the perfect Christians, not me.

The truth is, God’s perfect unconditional love is for all of us.

The moment I fully accepted the love my Heavenly Father had for me, I was changed. It’s a personal love, for He calls me by name. My name is written on the palms of His mighty hands.

“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16a, NLT)

God calls us sons and daughters. That means He is my Father.

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV)

God calls us His children.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1, NKJV) 

God loves us with an everlasting love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3b, HCSB)

God’s love is faithful and true.

“But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.” (Psalm 86:15, HCSB)

God’s love will not end.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.’ (Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV)

God loved us first.

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, ESV)

God loves us so much that He gave us Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NKJV)

God rejoices over you with singing.

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV)

Nothing can seperate us from God’s love

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39, ESV)

Do you know how much God loves you? Maybe you’re like I was. You think it in your head, but it’s not in your heart. I pray today that changes for you. May you experience the love of God like never before. Let Him fill up your heart with the knowledge of His amazing love.

It is mind boggling to think about, and accept the love of a perfect God. Bask in it. Recieve this beautiful love from God, and praise Him for it. God loves you!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com