Marks of the Master
If you and I are Christians, we will be marked by what rules our lives. Paul’s “marks” were dramatic: “Five times I have received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked...I have been in labor and in hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” None of us can match Paul’s physical marks, but is there anything else about us that “gives us away” as followers of Christ?
Tolstoy tells an old story of a czar who opened his palace to any peasant with calloused hands. Any poor man or woman could present himself at this rich man’s gate and be given admittance if they bore the marks of a worker. In Tolstoy’s tale, if your hands were smooth the way mine are, then you would be given bread and water and sent away. But if your hands had done hard labor, you would be invited to eat at the great table, and enjoy the delicacies of kings.
What are the marks of a Christian? Mercy. Truthfulness. Love. Faith. Patience. Longsuffering. Forgiveness. Can others tell by the marks on your life that you follow Christ? Is your character being conformed to His? Are His priorities your priorities? Is there enough of Jesus in your life to give yourself away as His?
...For I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus (Galatians 6:17).
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE
Genesis 16-18; John 9-10
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