Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Unique Contrast

Let this be your argument for holiness: “I am Christ’s!”

There is something to be said about the beauty of a morning when the snow gently blankets both earth and trees. Today, it led me to consider the purity of the Spotless Lamb that covers all our blemishes. I was amazed this morning when, looking out the window across the fields, a brilliantly colored cardinal perched itself on a snow-laden branch. That unsuspecting bird provided such a striking contrast aginst the sparkling snow that it immediately reminded me of the crimson flow that purifies even the most sin-sick soul.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

It is because of the contrast between the blanket of pure snow and the cardinal cloaked in brilliant scarlet that I’m drawn to consider how our walk with Christ impacts the status quo of today’s society and the contrast that should be visible as those who belong to Him interact daily with those without faith.

Paul, talking to the church at Corinth, said, “Ye are Christ’s.” Just what does that mean for us? And, how does that make us different from those who do not identify with Him?

C. H. Spurgeon has quite a bit to offer on this — it is what led me to consider the contrast between those who are His and those who claim no identity in Him. Take a moment to consider this:

“‘Ye are Christ’s.’ You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs.”

In this particular devotional this morning, Spurgeon goes on to discuss our response to situations we all face, most of which are daily challenges set before us in order to help us grow to maturity. His instructions when at the crossroads of decision:

“When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ’s. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Savior’s, recognizing in you his features of love and his countenance of holiness.”

Those of us who claim faith in Jesus Christ must stand out against the background of complacency, indeciveness, sin, and worldliness. We must be unique while bearing the mark of Him to whom we belong. We must never seek to emulate others but, contrariwise, choose to imitate Christ in all we say and do. He stood out from the crowd no matter where He went. He always bore witness of the Father in all He said and did. And, because we are Christ’s, it is our greatest challenge to follow in His footsteps.

Forget the Hollywood stars. Ignore the big names — even those who stand behind the pulpit. Don’t be distracted by the rich and famous and seemingly successful in this world. Rather, follow Christ. Be imitators of Him. Walk in His shadow and that of no other. Fulfill your calling to belong to Christ in every way. We have been formed and fashioned by the Master’s Hand to fulfill a very specific purpose and calling — to be part of a bigger picture than what is visible from our limited perspective.

We are challenged to belong to Him and stand with Him as a unique contrast against this world and all it stands for. “Ye are Christ’s.”

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(c) 2015 Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved

NOTE:  Based on C. H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening: Daily Readings for January 12

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