Easter - 2018

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Marked for Life

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel The Scarlet Letter, Heaster Prynne wears a scarlet "A" a punishment for having committed adultery. She is marked for life, and it is a mark of shame.

After Cain kills his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-16), God puts a mark on Cain to prevent him from being murdered in vengeance for his crime against his brother. He is marked for life, and it's a mark of mercy. The Lord gives Cain a mark and with it, time to realize the seriousness of his sin and to repent.

We are marked for life, too. The name of our God has been stamped on us and is refreshed each time we hear anew the words of blessing from God. This mark, though not visible to human eyes, is very real even so. The Eternal God, Yahweh himself, the Lord, has claimed us as His very own. We belong to Him, and He has sworn never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

The Christ-followers' mark is to honor and bear fruit for God. Our Lord says:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine...You are precious and honored in my sight, and ... I love you."- Isaiah 43:1, 4

Because all this is absolutely true of each of God's children, we can shine as beacons of hope in our dark world. Our lives can light the way for those who are lost, helping them to find their way home to the Father.

Wherever we go, we can "be Jesus" to those around us. No doubt we will fail from time to time in showing Christ's love...we will miss the mark...drop the ball...but God will not disown us or remove us from the game. He will never stop honoring us, redeeming us, or loving us.

The unconditional acceptance, won for us by Jesus on the cross, creates courage in our hearts. It stirs our zeal for service and growth. We are marked for life in order to love as we have been loved.

You know I love you - Don

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