BRANDED

For me, this is the Year of the Bible. I am enjoying the daily readings, and this year I have chosen to read out of the New Living Testament. Sometimes that which is as simple as a choice of wording will open up for me a whole new insight. In Exodus 13, for instance, when Moses is giving instruction concerning the Seventh Day, the children are to be told the story of what God did for the families when they left Egypt. Each family is told to pass the story on in a personal way, i.e., “I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt. The festival itself is to be a physical sign to everyone, like a mark on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite the teaching of the Lord. With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt.” I love this, it is as though he is saying to future generations, “God brands us when He delivers us.” We should today be able to say to our children and grandchildren, “Look what the Lord has done, with His mighty hand he has brought us out of slavery.”

Looking back, can you say that God delivered you from doing what you would not do to doing what you would do? In John 8:34, Jesus had this to say, “Anyone who is living a life of sin is a slave to sin.” It is hard to gloss this over, but there it is, and the Savior is the one who made it very clear. Have you passed from bondage to sonship? “The strong man guards his house, and his goods are at peace” Luke 11:21. There is a great difference between a single act of sin and a lifestyle of sin. When you are born again, you no longer are under the government of sin. A new King has come into your life, and the benefits are wonderful and endless. I like the branding of faith, hope, and love. We have been branded with the hot iron of endless devotion and appreciation for Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. The celebration of their deliverance represented spiritual truth, which we should not overlook. It was to be on their hand and forehead. Jesus’s response was to those who said they were people of faith because they were  born into Jewish families. He cleared that up when He told them, “People are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” Are you branded? If so, by whom?

I believe in you!

Your loving pastors,

Cleddie & GayNell Keith