James Meehan - Are You Built Different?
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Here's the deal, I don't know about you, but I wanna be the kind of person that when people talk about me they say, that guy is built different, right? If you whether you're in a building, you're online, on YouTube whatever, if you wanna be the kinda person that's built different then either raise your hand, type it in the chat, leave a comment down below because I'll tell you what, when I think about the way that I live, I want when people see me I want them to see the impact that I'm making not just for me, but also for the people whose lives will be changed because of that. And when I think about the people throughout history who are built different, right? I think that people like Michael Jordan, right? I think about LeBron James, Tom Brady. I think about people like Martin Luther King Jr, like Mother Teresa, these people who did something with their lives that left an impact.
Somebody recently who I think we could all agree is built different is Matt Fraser, right? If you're unfamiliar with the guy, he is the five time fittest man on the planet. He just recently won his fifth CrossFit Games championship. What you've gotta understand about this guy is he puts in the work, his motto is hard work pays off. He trains more than eight hours every day, and for the last five years ain't nobody can touch this guy because he is built different. What's super interesting to think about is that this year he won with the widest point margin in CrossFit Games history. This guy is built different, like he is the GOAT of CrossFit. And I think if we're honest most of us would be willing to say that, yeah, like I wanna be like that, I wanna leave a legacy, I want to be built different. And as much as these other people set an example and a standard that so many of us aspire to, I think the person who defines built different more than anybody else is the person of Jesus. Because 2,000 years ago Jesus entered history, right? He showed up in a little backwater town in the Roman empire and changed the world.
What's crazy about Jesus is He wasn't a politician, He wasn't a military general, He wasn't a poet, an artist, a musician or an athlete, yet He has had a bigger impact on history than anybody else who has ever lived, right? He didn't build a music empire, right? He didn't have a bunch of followers on social media, but what he did have is people that He poured His life into and that changed everything. So what we're gonna do this week and next week is we're gonna look at the person of Jesus, and we're gonna look at the example that He set for us to give us an idea of what it looks like as His followers to be built different, to be the kinds of people that leave a legacy, not just so people see us, but so that people would see Him through us. Because Jesus, right? He stood in the gap between the empire of Rome and the religious leaders of His day and He transformed history, right? He's this guy that even though He never wrote a book the most popular book on the planet is a book about His life, the Bible, it's been sold more than any other book in history.
It's the most read book ever and it tells the story of this one man, this one man who showed up and changed everything. And for those of us who are His followers we are called to follow His example, that's what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And because Jesus was built different, what we've got to understand is that as His people we are called to be built different. So what I wanna do day is I wanna look at some words from the Apostle Peter, this is one of Jesus's closest followers. And I want us to look at his words because these were instructions that he wrote to early Christians living in the Roman empire about what it would take for them to be the kind of people who stand out, the kind of people that when others see them they can tell, man, there's something different about them. The kinds of people who absolutely represent Jesus in who they are and what they do.
This letter that Peter wrote is found in the New Testament of our Bibles in 1 Peter 2. And what he's here is he's telling these followers of Jesus who they are, because what we've got to understand is that when we know who we are, then we'll know what to do. When we know who we are, then we will know what to do. So what Peter's doing in this verse, it's 1 Peter 2:9, he's reminding the people of God who they are. Here's what he says, he says, "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. You are God's special possession that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now have received mercy".
You see the beautiful thing about Jesus is that He entered history announcing a message, that message is called the gospel. It's the good news that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, our God has once again become King. His kingdom is coming on earth as it is in heaven and everybody is invited to be a part of His kingdom. And when we choose to put our trust in Jesus we become kingdom people, and kingdom people are built different. So shortly after Peter writes these words reminding us who we are as kingdom people, he then goes on to help us understand how we're called to live. And the first takeaway that I want us to have as kingdom people is this, that kingdom people choose what's good for others over what's good for themselves. Kingdom people choose what's good for others over what's good for themselves. Here's what he says starting in verse 11. He says, "Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul".
What Peter is saying is, hey, as kingdom people, you don't belong to the culture of this world and so I'm urging you to resist the selfish temptations that this culture worships. Because in Rome just like in our world today there are so many people who worship power, they worship possessions, they worship their platform, and instead what Jesus has invited us to be a part of is something that is so much better than that. Instead of self-interest, He invites us into self sacrifice. Instead of doing what's good for ourselves, He calls us to live lives that are good for others. And all of these sinful desires are desires that point everybody's attention towards us instead of Jesus. And so as kingdom people we are called to choose what's good for others over what's good for ourselves. In verse 12, he says, "Live such good lives among the pagans that even though they might accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us".
Listen to me, as a kingdom person you are to live such a good life that even the haters can't disrespect what you're doing, right? They can see your actions and know that there is something different about you because you are a kingdom person and you are built different. Starting verse 15 he says, "It is God's will that by doing good you will silence the ignorant talk of foolish people". Right? "It's God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people". I've heard it said time and time again that the loudest boos come from the cheapest seats. And what Peter is telling us to do here as Jesus followers is to live lives in such a way that even when the haters are yelling at us, we are focused on what God's plan is for our lives and we are stepping in day in and day out choosing to live for Him by choosing what's best for others instead of just what's good for ourselves.
And then verse 16, he says, "Live as free people, but don't just use your freedom as a cover-up for evil, instead live as God's slaves". Because as kingdom people we're not just living for our own good, we're living as God's representatives here on earth to show the world that there is so much more to this life than just chasing after money, followers, fame, and popularity. That instead we can choose purpose by putting our trust in Jesus because that one decision changes everything. And as kingdom people, we are called to be built different, we are called to choose what's good for others instead of what's good for ourselves. So what would it look like for you to choose what's good for somebody else instead of just doing what's good for you? Maybe somewhere in your family, maybe with your friends, maybe at school, maybe online, there are opportunities that you can think of right now to do something that's beneficial for somebody else rather than just trying to make yourself look good or feel good. Because as kingdom people we choose what's good for others over what's good for ourselves because we are called to be built different, to follow the example of Jesus.
So as kingdom people what we gotta remember is that when we know who we are, we will know what to do. And as kingdom people we have been called by God to choose to do what's good for others instead of just what's good for ourselves. The second thing that Peter's gonna talk to us about is this idea that as kingdom people we're called to choose to see people the way God sees over the way the world sees. We choose to see the way God sees instead of the way the world sees. In verse 17 he tells us to show proper respect to everyone, to love the family of believers, to fear God and to honor the emperor. Show proper respect to everyone. Listen, there will be times where people do ridiculous things, right? They do things that are crazy, that are hurtful, that are mean and oftentimes that are just plain wrong. Maybe they do something that hurts us, maybe they do something that hurts somebody we love, maybe they post something about us online that just isn't true.
What we've been called to do is to see those people as people made in the image of God, to treat them with respect because every single human being is made in God's image. That's what the first page of the Bible tells us, that in the beginning, God created everything, He called it good, then He created humanity in His image, He created us with purpose, with dignity, with value that doesn't come from anything we've done, but from the fact that we're made in His image and in the very beginning God wanted to partner with us to rule over creation. So from day one every one of us had a purpose, we all had value, we had dignity, and God is inviting us to see others the same way that He sees us, to treat them with respect. The next thing that Peter tells us to do is to love the family of believers, right?
I don't know about you, but oftentimes it seems like the people I treat the worst are the ones that I love the most. I feel like I can take for granted the fact that these people who are in my life, right? They know my heart, we've got a good relationship, so, you know, if I'm impatient or snippy with them, then they'll forgive me, but what Peter's reminding us to do as kingdom people is to never take those relationships for granted, right? Maybe for you it's your parents, maybe it's your siblings, maybe it's your best friend or maybe it's even your Switch group, there are people that you realize that instead of treating them like real family, you've sort of been taking advantage of that relationship.
And today you're gonna choose to change that, you're gonna choose just to be a kingdom person who is built different, that treats everybody with respect as a human being made in the image of God to love the family of believers. Because as kingdom people, we don't see the way the world does, we see the way that God does, we see every human being as somebody with purpose, with value and with dignity because all of them have been made in the image of God. You are a kingdom person, you have been called to be built different, and when we know who we are then we'll know what to do. The things that Peter is reminding us is that as kingdom people we are to choose what's good for others over what's good for ourselves. We're called to choose to see people the way that God sees over the way the world sees. And then the last thing that Peter is going to challenge us to do is to choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. To choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. Here's what he says starting in verse 21. He says, "To this you were called".
Now, what is this? He's about to tell us. He says, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps" As followers of Jesus, we aren't just called to put our trust in Him, we're called to follow Him day in and day out. Being a follower of Christ it means being somebody who follows Jesus, right? Not just somebody who sits on the sideline and appreciates and enjoys the spectacle, but somebody who steps into the game, who's willing to get their hands dirty and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Because He gave us an example so that we as kingdom people might be willing to choose the difficult right over the easy wrong, to put our money where our mouth is and to follow Him every day and every moment. Kingdom people choose the difficult right over the easy wrong.
We're told that Jesus in verse 22, Peter tells us that, "Jesus committed no sin, and no deceit, no lie was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, He didn't retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him, God who judges justly. He, Jesus, He bore our sins in His body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness". What Jesus did is He paid saved the way so that we could follow. He set an example that He's inviting every one of us to take up, an example of choosing the difficult right over the easy wrong. When people insulted Him, He didn't clap back, when people made fun of Him, when people disrespected Him, when they lied about Him, what Jesus did is He stayed focused on the purpose that God had for Him to go to the cross, to die for every single person so that they might put their trust in Him and be reconciled to their heavenly Father.
This is why Jesus entered the world, and that is the example that He set that as kingdom people we have been called to follow, the kind of people who choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. And here's the thing, it's not easy, but it's absolutely worth it because there are people in our world who are struggling. They are lost, they are broken, they are looking for hope. And that's why God chose you, that's why God picked you to be a part of His kingdom, to be His special possession, to be a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priests to represent Him, His love, His grace, His mercy, His truth to our hurting and broken world.
You have been called to be built different, to live as a kingdom person, to choose what's good for others over what's good for yourself, to choose to see people the way that God sees you instead of the way that the world sees, to choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. Because the example we follow is the example of the greatest leader in history, the person who changed everything by the way He poured his life into others. And it's that example that we've been called to follow, the example of someone who is willing to die on a cross to reunite humanity with His heavenly Father. So what will you do? Will you choose to take up your cross, to follow Jesus, to follow His example, to be a kingdom person, to be built different, or will you just keep going through the motions? Let's pray:
Heavenly Father I thank you so much that we get to be a part of a ministry of students, of leaders, of pastors that are committed to seeking you, loving others and making a difference. And I pray for every single student hearing this message that you would transform them from the inside out that every part of them would be different because they choose to put their trust in you and to follow you every moment of every day. We love you God, we thank you. And it's in Jesus name. Amen.