From the Pastor’s Desk
The Seal of God
A cattleman often uses a branding iron to mark and identify his cows. The brand they carry indicates who owns them. The brand might consist of initials or an abbreviation of the ranch name. Circle T or Lazy S or Bar K – every brand is registered to its owner.
Traditional branding is done with an iron that is heated in the fire and when it is applied it immediately burns and singes the hair and skin producing a permanent scar that will always indicate ownership. Today some use a freezing process, tattoos, or ear tags.
I’m thankful the Lord doesn’t use a branding iron on His children. One of my favorite Far Side cartoons pictured a cowboy heating up his branding iron in the fire. Close behind him, cows inside a corral watch with very big eyes. Then you look at the branding iron. It is enormous. It says, “This cow belongs to Daryl Jones so hands off.”
Yet the Lord does have an identifying mark that defines His own. His “brand” on us though is on the inside. Some might want it to be an external thing – our haircut, our clothing, our bumper sticker on our car. No. It’s in the inner man. Here is the way that God identifies those who are His.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30, AV)
God seals His children with the Holy Spirit. This seal is a permanent work of God in our lives that will last until the day of our redemption. In other words, it will be there until the day God calls us to heaven.
You are sealed. What does that mean? This seal indicates three things: your identity as a believer, God’s unique role as your Lord and the sign of your security in Christ. 1) We are His children. 2) He is our Father and Friend, Savior and Lord, Master and Owner. 3) He is our security – He keeps us saved. We are sealed because we are His.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14, AV)
The seal of God is your mark of authenticity. Yet it is inside of you. It is not something you can wear on your sleeve. It is something that will be seen and discovered by the joy and happiness that Christ brings to those who are His own. It will be seen by your faithfulness to Jesus and your willingness to lay down your life for your Lord.
So what brand are you wearing? What is it in your life that identifies you? If you are following the devil, then know that he has put his stamp on you. If you are following the world (and ultimately the devil) then know that the world has pressed and squeezed you into its mold. But this is not to be true of God’s people.
We have been called to something that is greater and higher and better. We have been called to be His.
I am just grateful to be included in His herd.
Bro. Tim Hobbs
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19, AV)