As I type this, I wince in pain as the fingers on my left hand tap each individual key. A movement I had taken for granted all my life, now provide a little slither of pain shooting down my left elbow, where I have been stitched up pretty tightly. Currently my arm is healing from a pretty severe cut from shattered glass; my attempt to climb through my window (I left my keys inside) seemed like a good idea at the time, but a smashed window and a deep cut prove otherwise.
I received 18 stitches to my arm to cover the gaping hole the shattered glass had left, the piece of glass somehow managed to cut through two layers of skin, arm fat and nerves, just about scraping my muscle tissue underneath. Once the wound has healed, I will be left with a scar on my left forearm for life. A little reminder of my bull headedness!
Now whilst my career as an arm model has ended before it’s even begun, I readily have a sermon illustration for the rest of my life now. The scar will always serve as a reminder of my exploits at that window. every single time I look down at my arm, I will be reminded! A mark of remembrance.
As I lay in bed attempting to sleep and recover the blood I lost during my frantic wait for the ambulance to come, I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians; “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” – Galatians 6:17
Paul bore marks and scars of a whole other nature to my bullheadedness. He bore the marks of Christ!! We only have to flip back to 2Corinthians 11 to read the physical scars he bore for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now not all of us will face physical persecution, but what about the spiritual scars Paul bore and we should strive to bear for Christ’s sake?
When I mean spiritual scars, I mean marks that tell a story. Who can you point to and say I have left my mark on them in a spiritual sense. You led them to Christ or you helped them in their spiritual growth, you met a physical need or spent time in prayer for your brother or sister in Christ. Spiritual marks!!! Where can you point to and say I have sacrificed my time and energy to congregate and be with other believers, every time the church doors open for services.
If the Lord is gracious enough to give you a long life, would you have borne the marks of a life walked with Christ? Maybe physical, but more so spiritually.
Jesus himself, when he appeared unto his disciples showed them his physical marks on his body to prove to them how much he loved them and what he had just done for humanity. Beckoning with his voice, Jesus tells Thomas “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:and be not faithless, but believing”
Jesus lived a marked life, a life which showed his actions spoke louder than his words……and Jesus spoke many words, as we see in the gospels.
My challenge is this; just like how Jesus Christ and Christians who have come and gone through history did great exploits, exploits still to this day which shape our everyday living. We should also strive to do great things for a great God. Let us attempt to leave our spiritual marks on a lost and dying world and on lost souls.
Never forget the words of Christ to his personal disciples “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” – Matthew 28:19-20