Ready for a fun story about a serious truth?
Two Texans were trying to impress each other with the size of their ranches. One asked the other, “What’s the name of your ranch?”
He replied, “The Rocking R, ABC, Flying W Circle C, Bar U, Staple Four, Box D, Rolling M, Rainbow’s End, Silver Spur Ranch.”
The questioner was much impressed and exclaimed, “Whew! That’s sure some name! How many head of cattle do you run?”
The rancher answered, “Not many. Very few survive the branding.”
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? You and I have been branded – marked, called by God to lay down our lives in surrender to Him. Thankfully, we are branded by only One name, the name of Jesus!
In Galatians 6:17, the Apostle Paul declared, “From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” Paul bore on his body the literal marks of his extensive physical suffering for the Gospel of Jesus Christ (cf, 2 Corinthians 11:24-27). Jesus Christ and His gospel were so important to Paul that he was willing to suffer and die so that as many as possible could hear the message of salvation and transformation.
While you and I may never bear marks on our bodies like Paul’s that signify our physical suffering for the gospel, we have been marked by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 proclaims, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” We have been sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
In the Scriptures a seal represents ownership, protection, and a validation of the relationship.
The Holy Spirit has marked us as Christ’s precious possession. O praise the Lord! I am His and He is mine!
Because I am marked by the Holy Spirit, I am protected from the attacks of the enemy (cf, Revelation 7:3). Satan cannot claim ownership over me because I am already owned by another!
Erik Raymond (gospelcoalition.org) writes about our glorious relationship: “The promised Holy Spirit identifies God’s people as his inheritance. And the experience of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is proof to them, and a demonstration to others, of the genuineness of their faith. The Holy Spirit provides the inward assurance that they belong to God as children (cf, Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6). … By giving us the Holy Spirit, God seals or stamps us as his own at our conversion. And then the Holy Spirit continues to testify, authenticating the reality of this relationship by making us more and more like Jesus.” Praise His Holy Name!
This Sunday, April 24, Pastor Ron Peer will help us understand from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount about what a disciple is. Don’t miss his inspiring challenge. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream to both locations every Sunday morning.
Coming Up: Missionary Joyce Kitano will be with us on Sunday, May 1. She will share with us about her exciting ministry in Japan and also the miracle healing the Lord has recently done in her body. (Joyce will speak at both the 9:30am Bible Class and the 10:35am Worship service.) Our next Drive-Thru Prayer outreach with be Saturday, May 7, from 1-3pm. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8. All women who attend will receive a special gift, plus my wife and the mother of my children, Shirley Ashpole, will be ministering the Word.
Aloha ke Akua!