The Signature

"For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus." Galatians 6:17...."But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: 'The Lord knows those who are His.' " 2 Timothy 2:19......"Every signature of wounding in our lives can be covered by the signature of Christ." Beth Moore

 

One translation of Galatians 6:17 renders Paul's words as, "I bear on my body the brand marks of Christ." This would likely have deeper meaning to those who first read his letter two thousand years ago. Slavery was a common and widespread experience in his culture. Many in the early church were themselves slaves. Paul considered himself a "bondslave of Christ." Slaves in this culture were branded with a symbol or signature of some sort that identified who owned them. Even if freed, they would bear that mark, that scar, for the rest of their lives. For most, it was a source of shame. For Paul, it was mark he received with joy.

We live in a fallen world, and it is impossible to walk through it untouched and unmarked. We live among fallen people. They are our families, our wives, husbands, children and friends. Intentionally or not, they hurt us, wound us, scar us. Those wounds mark us, affect us, too often, control us. We try many things in order to be free from them, but nothing truly works. Scarred and wounded in one relationship, we quickly look for another to replace it, all the while living under the effects of the wounding and scarring of what has gone before, setting ourselves up to see what has gone before infect what is happening now. The result is new, deeper scars. We live in a pattern of woundedness. Our past, whatever type of scarring has taken place, dictates our future. We live under the bondage and control of the scar, the wound, the brand mark. We live among the ruins of yesterday, and it fully taints our today and tomorrow. We live in a culture awash with such lives. People young and old living with the marks of abuse, divorce, abandonment, addiction, things done to them. We also live under the power of what's going on within us as a result; bitterness, unforgiveness, despair, and hopelessness. Like Paul, we cry out, "Who will deliver us from this living death?" The Answer is before us if we will see Him, hear Him, receive Him. Christ the King.

Paul never forgot who he had been before He encountered Christ on the Damascus Road. A hater of all believers. A persecutor of them. A murderer of them. But he was not held in the power of who he had been, or the marks that his choices and actions had left upon him. He was not because he had allowed Jesus Christ to write His matchless name upon each and every scar, wound and brand mark of his life. A name written in His own blood. A name, a signature that broke the power of what had been, what he had done, or had done to him. A name that announced to all, that he belonged to Christ alone. That the world and the enemy who controlled it, no longer had a claim on him. He belonged to Christ. The tyranny of the mark, the wound, no longer controlled him. Christ had marked him as His own. What He did for Paul, He does for you and me, if we will have it. Will we have it?

We all bear marks, signatures in this life. Whose do you bear? Do your wounds of yesterday control who you are today? The marks of the slave in ancient Rome announced to all, who and what they were. One way or another, ours will do the same. Are you identified by the signatures of what has been done to you, or you have yourself done? When Christ writes His name upon the wounds of your heart and mind, He brings healing upon those wounds, no matter how deeply they have been seared into your being. The brand marks of this world bring shame. The brand mark of Christ brings life and freedom. We will bear one, or the other. Which do you bear? One......or the other? 

Blessings,
Pastor O


 

 

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