There are 96 verses in the Bible that refer to being set apart. Jesus makes a specific distinction in His Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:43-47. A follower of Jesus is called to higher standards than an unbelieving heathens. Perhaps, this is why one of Jesus’ disciples asks first century Christians, what’s your distinguishing mark? As you are forced to reside in a world of darkness, how are you making a difference?
What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [d]realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a [e]distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 4 And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and [f]your joy may be complete], 1 John 1:3-4.
The apostle Paul alludes to a distinguishing mark while writing a letter to a teenager pastor. When you add Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:6 with 1 Corinthians 12:1-7, each Christian possesses a hidden talent known as a spiritual gift. As individuals begin to switch their allegiance from the world to the Lord, minds can be transformed by the Word of God, Romans 12:1-2. When faith is nurtured by the Holy Spirit, knowing what God’s will for your life becomes achievable.
I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows), John 10:9-10.
Your distinguishing mark should align your spiritual gift with God’s will for your life. Unfortunately, this process often takes decades to sort through to figure out what works and what doesn’t. For example, I set out to be a social worker, changed to a youth pastor and ended up being a high school Bible teacher. When I lost my job a decade ago, I had to start over from scratch. Like an ongoing work of art, each day serves as a fine-tuning process to magnify your distinguishing mark as a member of the body of Christ.
by Jay Mankus