I grew up in the great state of Oklahoma and when I was in 4th grade I spent a lot of time learning about the state’s history in my Social Studies class. We studied Indians and Sooners and even had our own land run on the front lawn of the school… everyone dressed in settler clothes and carried lunch pails made out of coffee cans. I got to do a lot of fun projects that year and this morning when I was reading my Bible I was reminded of one in particular. Buffalo branding.
Indians would take a steel rod that they had carved their trademark symbol on, get it blazing hot, and then press it into the hide of their buffalo, leaving a permanent brand on the animal so everyone would know who it belonged to. Our class books had pictures of what some of the symbols looked like and our assignment after the lesson was to design our own trademark symbol. I can still see in my head the brand I created. I used my initials at the time, S.N.
Animals aren’t the only things that used to get branded by a red hot piece of steel. Slaves, human being slaves, used to get branded too. For the same reason, their owners wanted everyone to know who owned them.
Galatians 6:17 (AMP) …for I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me]!
Paul had been branded. Not by a steel rod, but by the stones that had been thrown at him and the beatings that had wounded him as he spread the good news of Jesus. He had some serious battle scars, but he wore them proudly, much like a war veteran wears the scars he received while in combat for his country.
Why was Paul proud of the ugly marks that He bore on His body? Because they let everyone know that He belonged to Jesus. He was branded, like a slave or like livestock with a “J.C.” trademark symbol and it testified to Jesus’ ownership of Him.
John 16:33 promises us that in this world we will have trials and tribulation. In other words, we most definitely will go through things that leave marks on us; things that hurt us, that scar us, that wound us, BUT the same verse also tells us to take heart, because Jesus has overcome the world.
As a believer you have two options when trials come your way. You can let the enemy mark you by running from God, blaming God, and getting bitter toward God OR you can let Jesus mark you by running to God, believing He is good and only does good, and depending on Him to see you through whatever the devil has thrown at you.
How you respond in the face of adversity determines who you really belong to, who really owns your heart.
We are in a war, a war that has already been won, but a war in which we will receive some battle scars in. If you are walking with God and He is truly the Lord of your life and you go through a trial that leaves a mark, you are in good company, you are among those who Satan hates the most. You are one of the ones that threaten him because you remind him so much of Jesus. He wants to wear you down and mark you as his own… don’t let him. Let every wound, every scar, every hurt transform into a permanent brand that reminds you and everyone else who sees it that you belong to the Lord!
1 Peter 4:13 Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
- The scars in my life are proof that I belong to Jesus.
- Trials make us partners with Christ.
- He has overcome the world!
- We don’t have to try to hide the trials we go through, but we can turn them into testimonies that helps us lead people to Jesus!
- WE get to choose whose brand we want stamped on our lives.
- 4th grade Social Studies. That was a neat class.
- Breakfast by the pool at Nana & Papa’s.
- Papa always has the best tasting fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches were all very good today!
- Gussy did some preaching and praise and worship for everyone this morning.
- Papa fixed Gus’ messed up haircut he got in Texas yesterday. It looks great now!
- Gus did good when the clippers came out! Those used to scare him quite a bit.
- Kids got to swim for a while this morning.
- Listened to a great message on hearing God’s voice. I can never be reminded enough about how important it is to listen for that still small voice.
- Taco Bueno, Papa’s treat.
- I got to take an awesome nap in a big cozy recliner.
- This last minute trip to Tulsa worked out. We really needed some down time.
- Utica Square. I always love being there with the trees, the bells, the squirrels, the fountains, and the shopping.
- Nana & Papa got Gus a new Lego Star Wars book complete with a mini Lego Han Solo Figure.
- Gus was overly thankful! The whole store knew that that little guy received something that made his heart very happy! Made me want to buy him every Lego book and mini figure available.
- Nana & Papa got Beau some Melissa & Doug wooden slicing fruit… perfect for her new passion for cooking.
- Yummy dinner at Pei Wei. Another Papa treat.
- Josh got to spend his night doing one of his very favorite things, producing music!
- The next Ken Blount Ministries album is going to be awesome! Got to hear all of the songs Josh has been writing and they were all so good.
- Beau was acting like she was starting to not feel good, but by the end of the night she seemed to back to her happy little self again!
- Found a Starbucks giftcard!
- Gus told me he wasn’t sure what Sunny wasn’t going to look like but he was sure she would be beautiful! Such a sweet brother.
- My 13 year old niece Ryan saw an angel a few nights ago. Such a cool story!