Have you ever been fed up with suffering for doing what’s right when everyone else seems to get away with wrongdoing? This was the uncomfortable position in which many Christians living in Thyatira found themselves.

The city of Thyatira was a commercial center where business owners of like professions merged together and formed guilds, similar to modern-day trade unions. But the problem at Thyatira was in the various guilds’ practice of pagan rituals. All members were obligated to attend festivals in honor of the pagan gods, eat meat from their temples, and indulge in sexual promiscuity. Non-compliance with these rules meant expulsion from the trade union, lack of employment, and poverty. Obedience meant forfeiting one’s personal testimony. You can see why the Christians were in a dilemma.

Believers have been commissioned as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people. When the Bible uses the word “peculiar,” it doesn’t mean “strange,” as it is used today. Rather, it means Christians are a purchased people who belong completely to God. We’re under new management.

Sooner or later, each of us will come to a moral crossroads like the Christians at Thyatira. We must choose between standing for our faith or compromising God’s truth to follow the world’s standards. You may have to make this decision sooner than you think. I challenge you to prove your peculiar ownership today.

This is not an age in which to be a soft Christian. — Francis Schaeffer

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.