|Make Your Mark|
Some of us make our mark in business. A handful of us in the arts and sciences. Others of us in sports. Still others in politics. But marks also come in other forms and by other means. For example, some of us are marked or scarred for life due to an accident or injury. A few of us are marked with a criminal record. Many of us are marked by our poor choices. Beyond that, it is popular to have our bodies marked or tattooed if you will. With that said, there is a better and eternal way of being marked and making a mark. In fact, the practice of Biblical love (Greek, Agape) is a distinguishing mark of the true believer in Christ.
To begin with, we know God is love (1 John 4:7-8) and we are commanded to love God as a priority with everything about us and everything in us (Matthew 22:36-38). We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and this marks us as disciples of Jesus (John 13:34-35). Moreover, in addition to loving God, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). If you think that’s a hard one, well then, we are even commanded to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). All in all, Christians are set apart from non-believers with a distinguishing mark of love. In other words, we take action independent of our feelings to meet the need of another through good deeds and pure motives.
So then, what is your mark? Asking yourself the following three questions may help you gauge your true mark.
1) How would you describe yourself?
2) How would others describe you?
3) How would you imagine Jesus describing you?
I hope your goal for making your mark in this world is by and through the love of Christ. And, if so, the answers to these soul searching questions should therefore include loving God, neighbor, other Christians and enemies. If not, this may mean that you’re not a believer, a very immature believer still developing your mark or you’ve grieved (Eph 4:31-32) or quenched (1 Thes 5:19) the Holy Spirit. I concede other marks can also be good, at least temporarily, but the mark of love should stand far above the rest. After all, in the end, it is the only mark that will matter. Seriously, someone else will get all your money and property. By in large, your great grandchildren, maybe even your grandchildren, won’t remember what you did for a living. Do I have to mention that your tattoos will slowly vanish in the decay of your flesh as you lie in the grave or instantly vaporize if you’re cremated?
You might be thinking, how is having a mark of love possible? After all, there is so much hate and division in the world. The average family is in chaos. Even the typical local church is in disarray. So, how is it possible to love like the Bible commands? Simply, God makes it possible. How?
1) God first loved us. 1 JN 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
2) Jesus is the ultimate example. 1 JN 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
3) God poured love into our hearts. ROM 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
4) We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [underline added]
Well, me too. I want to leave a mark. Not a bad or hurtful mark. Not a temporal mark. For sure, not a momentary or temporary mark. That’s right, I want to leave an eternal mark. A mark distinguished by love. But then, I am reminded that I can’t do it. In fact, I won’t do it. It’s possible, left to myself, I won’t even care. But, through the love, grace and power of God, God can leave His mark of love on me and make an eternal mark of love through me. Oh, to God be the glory forever and ever amen. So, get on with it. Make your mark. That is, make your mark by and through the love of Christ.
A Work in Progress,
- Making disciples who make disciples
- Introducing people to Christ across the street and around the world
- Loving the least among us with grace
- Leading together through teams
- Empowering the church through passionate prayer
- Worshipping as a lifestyle
- Embracing ministry with a Kingdom mindset