There Is a Difference
by Billy Moore
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8), so, there is a difference! There is a difference between Serving God and Serving Sin, between Walking by Faith and Walking by Sight, and Between God's Ways and Our Ways. And this difference must make a difference To Us and In Us, and when it does It will make a difference FOR us.
There Is a Difference Between Serving God and Serving Sin.
We all sin and come short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23), but we can change! We can determine whom we serve. Though you were the servants of sin, you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine delivered you, then became servants of righteousness (Romans 6:16-18). Truth is, God wants us to serve Him (Matthew 4:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13) and he wants us to begin when in our youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
There Is a Difference Between Walking By Faith and Walking By Sight
"We walk by faith and not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). In view of this Paul said "We make it our aim ... whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him" (II Corinthians 5:9). Faith is conviction that God is, and confidence that He will reward those who do His will. There is a difference in a life lived by faith in God and a life lived with no regard for God. By faith Enoch was translated (Hebrews 11:5), before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God. What kind of man was he?
A Man of Faith!
There Is a Difference Between God's Ways and Our Ways
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways" (Isaiah 55:9). In religion we can't just play it by hunch! It is not whatever we believe is right.. or you believe is alright. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death" (Proverbs 16:25). Jeremiah said, man cannot direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). Do you believe that? Do you believe that man, without any divine revelation can have access to God? Do you believe there is a difference between what God says and what man thinks? Between God's word and man's word. God's word will stand (I Peter 1:24-25), man's word and works will perish.
These Difference Must Make a Difference TO Us
Does it make any difference to you that God has revealed His will to us? Does it make any difference to you what God has said regarding how to live? how to worship? the work of the church? It was Paul who said, we labor that we may be well pleasing to God (II Corinthians 5:9). What does it take to please God? Each man chooses whether he will live right or live in sin; love his wife or abuse and neglect her; work and provide for his family or loaf and steal; provide all things honest, or lie; meet with other Christians to worship God, or forsake the assembling. We can know what it takes to please God only when we have word from God concerning it.
What does it take for a church to please God? Preaching the word pleased Him (I Thessalonians 1:8; II Corinthians 11:8). God is pleased when we edify the saints (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:11); when a church helps needy saints (Acts 2, 4, 6, 11). Today many churches provide entertainment and recreation for the members and their friends. Is there any word from God that this pleases Him? If so, where? God has said, "if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation" (I Corinthians 11:34) The Scriptures teach, "do all in the name of the Lord" (Colossians 3:17).
These Difference Must Make a Difference IN Us
Making a difference IN our lives. Those of Berea "searched the scriptures ... " (Acts 17:11); Saul asked "Lord what will you have me to do" (Acts 26:19) — it made a difference to him; those on Pentecost asked, "What shall we do?" The response definitely made a difference IN their lives, IN what they did. Such must make a difference to the extent that we get INTO Christ and ABIDE there bearing fruit (John 15:1-8). It must change our lives so that when we come to that fork in the road where we choose which way should I go? what should I do? I will choose the way of the Lord.
It Does Make a Difference FOR Us
When we recognize these differences and allow them to make a difference IN us, it will make a difference FOR us! It brings into fellow ship with God (I John 1:1-3); we are justified by faith, we begin walking by faith, realizing that "the eyes of the Lord are over us and His ears are open to our prayers" (I Peter 3:12). It will make a difference FOR us when we come to die, "blessed are the dead that die in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13). What a difference at the Judgment! "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).
[More than 25 years ago W.L. Wharton, Jr. was preaching at Vivian Road in Kansas City. One night, he preached "There Is A Difference." I took extensive notes as I listen to that sermon, which I thought was so great as brother Wharton preached it. Soon I made an outline from those notes, and have preached "There Is A Difference" forty-one times in ten different states in gospel meetings. I learned so many things from brother Wharton, he preached in a couple of meetings for the church in Butler, he and his wife stayed in our home. We loved them so much, and told him so many times.]