Striving to Be an Abomination

Not the average goal for a born-again believer, huh? But why not? It’s a worthy goal on second thought, is it not?
Perhaps an explanation would be helpful here before you entirely tune me out. Proverbs 29:27 says, “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked” (NKJV). Does that clear up any confusion you might have had?
After reading this verse in my personal devotions with God one day, I thought to myself, “I want to be an abomination!” Of course, I want to be an abomination of the latter sort- “an abomination to the wicked.” Oh may I never be “an abomination to the righteous.” Those are the ones whom I wanted to be counted among.
For the past several months, I have been working on memorizing the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. It has been slow going, but I’m learning from it, thus fulfilling the main objective. As I meditate on the significance of Proverbs 29:27, I can’t help but also think of Matthew 5:11-12 which says, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before me” (NKJV).
My desire is not to go around and to make everyone hate me, but rather to be so much like Christ and so much unlike the world that the world doesn’t like it. If Christ is repulsive to sinful mankind then I want the same to be true of me. At the same time, I want to be an abomination in such a way that the unsaved see their own sinful condition and the abomination that they are to God.
The bottom line? “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV).
God, make me an abomination to the wicked so that I may expose others to your glory.

Living with No Rights is Living the Right Way

Ancient Awl

Wielding a hammer, the master firmly struck the awl through the soft flesh and into the door post. The servant bravely suppressed a scream that tried to escape his mouth as pain seared through his ear lobe. But he was not afraid or distressed by the situation. No, he was full of joy and pride because of the significance of the moment. This man just made the transition from a servant to a bondservant. He would never be free again, and he had no rights, but he was happy. He was happy because he had chosen to be compelled to serve his master…for the rest of his life.

On Monday night during Faith’s SMF (Student Missionary Fellowship) prayer band, I was challenged with the idea of being a bondservant. It wasn’t the first time I had heard a message or devotional on the topic, and I was already familiar with the ancient practice of piercing a bondservant’s ear to signify his choice to continue serving his master, but I had never thought about the significance of a bondservant not having any rights. Mr. Roger McNamara, a missionary with Baptist Mid Missions, spoke to us about the importance of giving up our rights. I can’t remember exactly, but I think he referred to the text of Scripture that gives the account of James’ and John’s mother asking Jesus to let her sons sit on either side of Him in heaven (Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 10:20-28). He challenged us to give up our rights as servants of Jesus Christ. That is a sign of true greatness.

Paul was one of the greatest men in the New Testament. But why was he so great? He knew who he was and what God required of him. Paul declared himself a servant of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10;