Be Different

1. Introduction
    A. 1 Samuel 8:1-22
        1. Samuel, a faithful prophet, when old turned the duties of judging to his sons
        2. They were corrupt
        3. In an effort to solve their problem of judicial corruption, they looked at the nations around them and desired a king.
            a.  So they would be “like all the other nations”.
        4. This displeased God, and I believe today God is displeased when his people seek to be like those in the world.

2. God wants us to be different
    A. 2 Cor.6:17
    B. Do you ever look at other people or churches and think it would be nice to be like them?
    C. One cause is that, like the Israelites, we don’t see the problems of others , but only see our own problems.
    D. God, on the other hand can see everything, and He only wants the best for us.

3. Being different can be hard
    A. Illustrate with being in school and some time that you were humiliated for being different,
         1.  Or some time when you should have been different, but because of peer pressure, you weren’t.
    B. You must remember that the crowd doesn’t respect followers in the crowd.
    C. They respect:
        1. The leaders
        2. Those who stand up for what they believe in
    D. People despise
        1. Hypocrites
        2. Those who act “holier than thou”
        3. Those who try to be different just for the sake of being different
            a. This is foolish and sinful pride
    E. It was hard for the Apostle Peter to be different
        1. Tell story of his denial, three times of Christ
            a. He probably regretted that the remainder of his life, but that didn’t end his temptation to go along with the crowd
        2. Gal.2:11-13
        3. These things were written, not so we would judge Peter, but for our benefit, so we could learn from his mistakes.
    F. Instead of being concerned about what others think of us, ask yourself, “What would Jesus think?”

4. How does God want us to be different?
    A. Examples:
        1. Tattoo “JESUS” on our forehead?  That would be different.
        2. Covering your car with religious bumper stickers?
        3. Placard your Yard with Neon, lighted signs that have scripture on them?
    B. We don’t find the NT Christian doing such attention seeking, obnoxious things as this.
    C. But what we do find is:
        1. People sharing with those in need
        2. Helping their neighbor
        3. Washing one another’s feet
        4. Serving one another
        5. Showing their love for one another
        6. Humbly correcting those in error and Reasoning with them about God
        7. Showing them Jesus with their lives
    D. This is how the early church grew
    E.  I am not saying a “Jesus” Tattoo, or bumper stickers or yard signs are sinful, but God hasn’t commanded these.
    F. He didn’t ask you to write His word on your car -  He said to write it on your Heart (Rom 10:8, Mark 4:15)
        1. The word written on your heart will make you different
            a. Rom.12:2 –Don’t be conformed, but be transformed

5. Jesus was different in the way he loved
    A. 1 Cor.13:4-8
        1. Does this sound like the people of this world?
        2. Does this sound like you?
    B. John 13:34,35
        1. We are to be different in the same way…in our love

6. Think of all the good people in the bible – those who are held up as examples for us, honored and esteemed –
    A. Examples:
        1. Remember David  (thru the stone at the Philistine Giant – when everyone  said he couldn’t be defeated)
            a. He was different.  He was the only one who trusted in the Lord to deliver them.
            b. God made him King
        2. Joshua – When all the people around him were serving the pagan idol’s of the land
            a. “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”
        3. Lot – living in the most corrupt city on earth – surrounded by wickedness continually
            a. did not yield or follow their ways – and God saved him
        4. Joseph of Arimathea – who did not consent to the Jewish counsel that crucified Jesus
            a. He asked Pilot for his body and buried Christ in his own tomb.
            a. (Luke 23:50-52)
     B. These are the people that are remembered.  These are the ones who, in the end, people respect and honor.
        1. Those who weren’t too afraid to be different
        2. Who didn’t follow the crowd but their own conscience
        3. Who did what they knew was right – even when it was against everyone else

7. Conclusion:
    A. Because, when you die - you’re not going to care how popular you were, how big the crowd was you followed.
    B. You aren’t going to care what other people thought of you
    C. You ARE going to care what Jesus thinks of you – very much.   In fact that’s all your going to care about.
    D. God doesn’t want us to look to the world for the solutions to our problems
    E. Or look to the world as an example, for the way we are to be
    F. He wants us to look to Him
    G. So let’s Stand up for what we believe…Practice what we know is right
    H. Let’s Be Different!