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Be Different      Deut. 14:1-2, 9-11, 19-23; 15:7-11(HCSB)      Feb. 05, 2012


Introduction

The football player Tim Tebow is not the only Christian playing professional football, but he is different.

I do not think he is a show-off or seeking attention but simple living his faith. The Lord expects us to be different. Are we?


1.    Be Different Follow the Lord’s . . Direction. Deut.14:1-2

A.   Follow Direction Because You are . . Sons and Daughters of the Lord. 14:1

"You are sons of the Lord your God; do not cut yourselves or make a bald spot on your head on behalf

of the dead,


B.   Follow Direction Because You are . . Special People To the Lord. 14:2

2 for you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord has chosen you to be His special people out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

 

       God told Israel to be different because they were His special people chosen for a specific purpose. Therefore they were His Sons and Daughters. Today we would apply this to Christians, and the fact that He makes us different. Why do some people want tattoos all over their body? I wonder if this represents something more permanent to an age group who have very few things in life that seem to be settled. God did not want Israel to cut themselves or take actions to represent the dead. False religions should not be attractive to God’s people.



2.    Be Different Follow the . . Diet the Lord Describes. Deut. 14:9-11, 19-21

       A.   Follow the Lord’s Diet and . . Respect God’s Restrictions. 14:9-11 

9 "You may eat everything from the water that has fins and scales, 10 but you may not eat anything that does not have fins and scales it is unclean for you. 11 "You may eat every clean bird,


       B.   Follow the Lord’s Diet and . . Remember God’s Restrictions. 14:19-21

19 All winged insects are unclean for you; they may not be eaten. 20 But you may eat every clean flying

       creature. 21 "You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to a resident alien within your gates, and he

       may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. You

       must not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.


       Do most Americans need to follow a better diet? Do we eat some things we should not eat? Most, if not

       all,  of us would need to answer, yes! I personally am a diabetic in a mild sense. A few years ago I had to

       switch to diet soda. About 15 years ago I had to cut out candy bars. But I have a problem giving up

       chocolate all together. The things the Israelites had to give up or disallow in their diets seem to not be a

       problem. I can’t imagine anyone hating to give up some winged insects or a carcass. But the point is that

       whatever the Lord tells us not to eat we should obey.



3.    Be Different Follow the Lord’s . . Demands for Financial Matters. Deut. 14:22-23

       A.   Follow the Lord’s Demands and . . Set Aside the Tithe as He Commands. 14:22

       22 Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields.


       B.   Follow the Lord’s Demands and . . Specify the Tenth of all Areas He Requires. 14:23

       23 You are to eat a tenth of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, in the

       presence of the Lord your God at the place where He chooses to have His name dwell, so that you will

       always learn to fear the Lord your God.

 

The Lord requires the tithe. I am glad my mom taught me to tithe. When I worked as a caddy and came home with something like $15.00 for the week my mom asked if I was going to tithe. I asked what that meant? She got the Bible and we read Malachi together and she asked if I wanted $15.00 without God’s blessing or $13.50 with His blessing. It made good sense to me to give the tithe. God told Israel to set aside the tithe, and to measure the tithe as He specified. I am blessed to be a tither and one who also gives an offering. How about you?



4.    Be Different Follow the Lord’s Prescribed . . Deeds Toward the Poor. Deut. 15:7-11

       A.   Follow the Lord’s Prescribed Deeds Toward the Poor and Don’t Be . . Stingy. 15:7-9

       7 If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the Lord

       your God is giving you, you must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Instead, you

       are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. 9 Be careful that there

       isn't this wicked thought in your heart, 'The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near,' and you are

       stingy toward your poor brother and give him nothing. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will

       be guilty.


       B.   Follow the Lord’s Prescribed Deeds Toward the Poor and . . Share What you Have. 15:10-11

       10 Give to him, and don't have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the Lord your God will

       bless you in all your work and in everything you do. 11 For there will never cease to be poor people in the

       land; that is why I am commanding you, 'You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor

       brother in your land.'


       Southern Baptist Churches basically give well to mission causes and concerns away from our church

       field. How well do we give for local concerns? Some churches do very well. But most of us could think

about some poor people and respond better than we do. Many of our churches have people who have better

       “junk” than many people have as their first rate furniture etc.. God does not want us to be stingy. We are

       not to be tightfisted or hardhearted. If someone is faithful to the church and does not abuse the generosity

       of others I am always interested in helping when I can. Christians are to Be Different. Amen?  

       Amen!