Summary: Examining the "marks" in the life of a true believer.
Marked By The Master
When I was a kid my uncle worked on a farm. One summer I was there with him and the ranch hands gathered a bunch of young bulls together into a pen. Then they ran them into a chute and caught their head in a rack. Then they pulled out a flaming hot iron with the farm's logo and placed it on its hindquarter and branded that bull for life. If that animal got loose or if he were stolen you could tell who he belonged to by the brand that he wore.
In the commercial society that we live in we are programmed to think of certain companies when we see their brand or logo. When you are driving down the street and you see ram horns coming at you.. you know that the vehicle is a RAM. When you see a gold bowtie you know that the vehicle is a Chevy. And best of all when you see a blue oval coming in your direction you know that a FORD! When you see an elephant standing on two legs wearing a polo shirt you know it is "Big Al" and he is representing the Crimson Tide. When you see an Eagle or a 6 foot tall Tiger (also walking on his back legs) who's name is Aubie you think of the Auburn Tigers.
When you are watching a Baseball, Football or Basketball game and you see that little white duck walk across the screen introducing a trivia question you automatically think of AFLAC. When you see that little green gecko lizard with an Australian accent you don't even have to hear him say Geiko, you already know who he represents.
Each person here wears a mark... you are branded in one way or another. There are some positive brands that people may put on you. They may see you as:
A good man or a good woman.
You may be branded as being:
Some may recognize you as being:
o A great mother
o A devoted friend
o A helpful neighbor
You have heard the phrase "he would give you the shirt off his back". That is a mark in your life. That is what people see when they see you!
There are some negative brands that people are labeled with- One night a teenage girl brought her new boyfriend home to meet her parents, and they were appalled by his appearance: leather jacket, motorcycle boots, tattoos and pierced nose. Later, the parents pulled their daughter aside and confessed their concern." Dear," said the mother diplomatically, "he doesn’t seem very nice. "Oh, Mom," replied the daughter, "if he wasn’t nice, why would he be doing 500 hours of community service?" http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/the-mark-of-a-servant-jeff-strite-sermon-on-salvation-168726.asp
One of the benefit's of being a long term pastor is that the people in the community begin to associate you with the church. When I go to a football game, a car show, a yard sale or just down to the store... people see me and even if they don't know my name they associate me with Stockdale Baptist Church. That is a brand that I am proud to wear! But more important that that mark or brand is the fact that on December the 7th, 1997 I was branded by Christ! Throughout eternity I will bear the "Mark of my Master!"
Whether you know it or not you wear a "Mark" today! You are either saved or you are lost. And if you are saved then you have been "Marked By The Master". I would like to take some time an look at Galatians 6:17 and preach on this thought "Marked By The Master"
Notice the phrase "I bear the marks"... this literally means I bear the "stigma" of Jesus Christ.
"Stigma" refers to "a mark pricked in or branded upon the body"
In ancient times a slave would be "branded" with the "mark" of his master.These "brands" or "marks" made it clear who they belonged to.Paul was being accused by the Judaizers. Some were accusing him of not being a true preacher, not being a God called man, not being an apostle, In their minds he was not worthy of apostleship. They believed if Paul were truly an apostle he would have everybody follow the Jewish laws of circumcision and other rituals. Paul faced great persecution from these people. Verse 17 is Paul's response to them - "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. "
Paul had literal "marks" in on his body, he had been wounded, beaten, bruised, broken, and stoned. People could say what they wanted... PAUL HAD THE SCARS TO PROVE HE WAS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST! When Paul made his first trip into the Galatian region he was stoned and left for dead in Lystra. Throughout his life after his conversion Paul faced many dangerous situations and he SUFFERED MUCH!