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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:32 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: Proverbs 8, Proverbs 9; John 21

Good morning Church,

In the Church we have this terrible mentality that we are conformists. To some extent we are as we conform to the image of Jesus Christ, however, it is not in this sense that I use this word. The conformity I refer to is the conformity to those around us or the demand that we conform to one another.

I am convinced that there is not as much salvation in the Church as there is conformity. Depending on which church you attend will determine how you act, the vocabulary you use and what you think about certain things. The demand of each church is that each member will conform to the character of that church. But God did not create us to be alike in that manner; to be like him yes but not to be like one another in a legalistic way. We don’t all have to wear the same style of dress, have the same type of hair cut, use the same translation of the Word, all wear ties.

Our conformity to the image of Christ is all about character, to have the character of Jesus. To have love as the foundation of everything that we do so that kindness flows from us. Kindness, generousity, humility, determined, honest, truthful and the list goes on. In this manner we should all be alike. Yet, God has created as all differently and called us to different things.

It is wrong for us to pattern ourselves after anyone but Jesus. It is wrong for one church to pattern itself after another church. Each of us is unique. This was never so clearly defined as what we find in today’s reading of John:

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"

Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." (John 21:20-22)

Typical. We are always watching the other guy. Jesus stated it plainly here: “What is it to you.” In other words, mind your own business. We get so caught up worrying about what other people are doing that we mess ourselves up. What is it to us that Jesus calls a brother to wealth, or a sister to fame, or another sister to illness or a brother to death? What is that to us? Just as each of us is uniquely created and each of us are unique by experience, education and our interpretation of these things, we are also unique in our calling. We are not to be looking at what Jesus calls others to so that we become jealous and envious. Those things destroy our unity. Neither are we to expect everyone to do things as we do them. Such expectations also destroy unity.

Jesus is strong in dealing with Peter on this issue and then he states again, clearly for him to understand: “You must follow me.” In other words, get your eyes off of John and onto me. Follow me, my patterns, my character. You follow me. We do not have a few original characters hanging around the Church; we are all original characters and we must be true to the creation of God. We must learn the difference between the holy and profane, between our natural character and Jesus’ character so that we will know the pattern to follow. Having this clearly understood allows us to be us without fear. We are the only us that God created so let us honour his desire and be us. And if at any point you are tempted to think differently remember Jesus’ words:

"If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

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