Summary: Who owns you?
I have a branding iron that depending on how you turn it you could brand the cattle with a large I or a wide H. For those not from Texas or other cattle states, you branded the cattle to mark them as yours. Hence a design like Rocking R or Lazy S is used to distinguish your cattle on an open range from that of a neighbor. It also helped to retrieve lost or stolen cattle.
I was thinking of the things we do are like the cattle. We can brand them with a large I meaning with our ego or pride. Remember, the central issue of the problem of pride is I. Our deeds can have I problems. We give ourselves credit and they are all OUR plans about OUR desires. Then again, we can hand the branding iron over to God and let him turn it into a H showing that all we are, have and do are His and thus holy.
In business these days it is all about branding. You develop your brand and market it. Even churches get in on the brand thing and market themselves. The ticket is the to have the right brand to get people to buy your product or come to your church. Seeker church is a branding concept trying to find the right model for your demographics. I get that different fish require different bait, but like all things it can go overboard. You will not find a church for this people group and one for that one or for lovers of different genre of music in the Word. There was only one church per town where rich, poor, etc went to worship and serve God. Hmm, a sermon there, fer sure.
I really do not like churches running like businesses and using business models. Neither Jesus or Christianity are market items for they are not of this World. Thus using Madison Avenue tactics or techniques do not adorn or become the Gospel. They are actually hindrances. (Phil 1:27)
His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, but are higher. ( Isa 55:9) Why use thoughts other than His and methods that are trying to sell you what you do not need and cannot afford? That also might be a sermon one day. Do we really need to use methods that market baubles that are thrown away when they break or loose allure when we have a message that is worth more than the riches of the universe? I think not!
In the Christian’s life, everything he/she says, does or thinks brands their soul the souls of others as well as presents a picture of what to the World of what a Christian is, what the Church is about as well as who they think Jesus is and does today.
Branding cattle takes some expertise. You do not want the iron to be too hot to severely harm the animal. After all, it is an asset and means money down the road. You do not want it not hot enough or it may not brand the animal at all or make such a light mark that it can be easily altered by a rustler with his brand.
The only way we can be assured that the branding of our lives will be beneficial to us and others is to hand over our I iron to Him. He will turn our I into an H. When we allow that to happen, not only will it be His mark on us, but the resulting holiness will leave a mark on our families/friends/co-workers, church and job, our neighborhood, but may also be the start of a change in our state, our country and even the world.
Those who were branded by God, but walked away from the herd may see their grass is not greener, even dead brown, and be led by the light of your holiness. Those who were stolen from God by The Fall may see that have having the brand of Jesus on their lives is what they have been longing for and will come to Him to be redeemed. Once bought by the blood and branded by Christ, the old scars of satan’s brand will fade. They will joyfully display their new brand to the World thus drawing others to the herd.
When people look at you what brand do they see? Is it a big I or the H? Sometimes you can get people to cock their head left or right so they see an H even if it is truly a very large I. You can do what looks like His work in the flesh, but God will not bless it.
One day, we will stand before God for inspection. If you have His brand of salvation you will be allowed to enter Heaven. However, your life’s work will be evaluated as well. All the stuff you branded with the I will be burned up and will not follow you in. That which you let Him brand will result in rewards for you.