The broader culture cannot set the agenda for me… God must!

Today during my Bible reading during “Coffee with the Lord” I was reminded that God’s people are not their own… they have been “redeemed!”  They are not to conform to the culture around them… they are to be “counter-cultural!”  They march to a different drum.  They live by a different set of values.  The broader culture may affirm (even applaud and approve) certain behaviors.  However God’s people – those He has redeemed (much like the Children of Israel had been redeemed and delivered from Egyptian bondage) – cannot approve them or practice them.  And it really does not matter what the broader culture thinks of those limitations – it really doesn’t matter the criticism or ridicule they may heap upon Christians for their convictions.  Devoted, Bible-believing Christians live by a different set of rules – they are God’s people.

Here’s what Moses was instructed to say to those that God had redeemed from Egypt… 

“The Lord spoke to Moses: ‘Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ʻI am the Lord your God! You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; you must not walk in their statutes. You must observe my regulations and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. I am the Lord your God. So you must keep my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. I am the Lord!” (Leviticus 18:1-5 the NET Bible)

This reminded me of two key verses that were written directly to Christians…

“Jesus Christ gave Himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.” (Titus 2:14 NET) And…

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. You once were not a people, but now you are Godʼs people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NET)

What was my response when I read what Moses was directed to say to those God had redeemed in the Old Testament?  I embraced it!  I realized that I too have been redeemed by the sin-sacrifice of Jesus.  It doesn’t really matter the values and mores of the broader culture.  I’m called to live a holy life – exhibit a distinctive lifestyle – embrace Biblical values and morals in a pagan culture!  With God’s help I’m going to do it!

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