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The longhorn is branded to identify the owner

What Is Your Mark From God?


    As indicated in the above photo, the brand or mark often comes through a very painful experience in one's life. The branding iron is heated red hot before touches body and sears the flesh.  Many may despise the mark and become bitter and angry over it.  Some will do everything in their power to get rid of the mark, or cover it.  However, a few will accept the mark as being from God and learn to depend upon the mercy and grace of God to serve God and others.  What is your mark from God?

CAIN:

"Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him" (Genesis 4:14-15).  Cain had been warned of God, but he did not heed the warning, became angry, and killed his brother Able.  When he was confronted by God with his punishment, he pleaded with God for mercy.  God in His mercy placed a mark upon him to protect him from vengeance.  There is all kinds of speculation of what the mark was, but whatever it was, it was a mark from God for his protection.
JACOB:
"And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him"  (Genesis 32:23-25) ..........  "And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh"  (Genesis 32:31).  Jacob had cheated his brother, Esau, out of his birthright and his father's blessings.  Now sometime later, he is to face his brother who swore to kill him.  The night before he is to meet with his brother, he wrestles with an angel of God who touches his thigh, which is to causes him to limp.  It was a mark of God upon his life.  I am sure that it must have been painful, but I am also sure that when the people saw his limp and asked, "What happened?", he had a great opportunity to share with them about the night he wrestled with and angel and received the name "Israel" meaning "one who has power with God". The limp was a mark of God upon his life.  What is the mark of God upon your life.
MOSES:
"And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say"  (Exodus 4:10-12).  First, the indication is that Moses had some difficulty in his speaking.  The Hebrew language indicates he had a "heavy" or "thick tongue".   However, God reminded Moses who made him the way that he was.  God told him that He would teach him what to say.  One "mark" of God upon Moses' life was that of having a difficulty in speaking.  It was in one sense a way of keeping Moses humble in that he would have to DEPEND upon God to enable him to speak.  As Moses depended upon the grace of God to speak, he became mighty in his speech.   "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds"  (Acts 7:22).  Most of us are like Moses and complain to God about His mark upon our lives.  However, Moses went a step forward to receive God's grace to speak.  I can very well relate to this.  As a child, I stuttered quite a bit. I still from time to time have difficulty getting my words out.  However, I know that God has placed a calling upon my life to speak.  I also know that as I depend upon the grace of God to speak, God works through my life.
MEPHIBOSHETH:
"And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth"  (II Samuel 4:4). Mephibosheth did nothing to deserve being made a cripple. Yet, he was one.  He could have become angry and bitter about it all.  However, God through the kindness of David, blessed his life.  David had the servants of Jonathan take care of the crops for him. He also sat at the the king's table as one of the sons of the king, David.  "Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants"  (II Samuel 9:10).  "So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet"  (II Samuel 9:13).  Maybe you have a birth defect or was injured physically or emotionally as a young child.  Could it be God's mark upon your life?  You have a choice to become angry and bitter or accept it as God's mark and receive the grace of God to receive God's blessings.
ESTHER:
"Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her" (Esther 2:15).  Because of Esther's beauty and grace, she was chosen to be the queen.  However, Haman got the king to issue an edict against the Jews.  Esther, who was a Jew, wanted to go before the king, but was fearful.  "All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days"  (Esther 4:11).  However, Mordecai, Esther's uncle responded, "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  (Esther 4:14).   I believe that God had at least three marks upon Esther. One was her beauty or grace.  She was also born a Jew.  God also had chosen her to live in the time that she did.
PAUL:
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong"  (II Corinthians 12:7-10).  Again, there is all kinds of speculation at to what the mark of God was upon Paul. He prayed that God would remove it three times, but told him that He would give him HIS grace to minister.  Whatever it was, it kept Paul humble and caused him to depend upon the GRACE of God to minister.  What is God's mark in your life?  What weakness do you need God's grace to cover.   The greater the weakness, the greater the grace that God provides.

"Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:4-8).  Look at the many different marks that God had on his life.  Yet, he had to count all this a loss compared the mark of Christ.

TIMOTHY:
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity"  (I Timothy 4:12).  One mark of God we see upon the life of Timothy was that God called him to minister in is youth.  However, it was a temptation for some to mock him.

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities"  (I Timothy 5:23).  Timothy's infirmities possibly could have been a mark of God upon his life. We should note that Paul didn't say, "Well, if you just would have more faith, you would be healed." Instead, he suggested the addition of grape juice (the Greek word doesn't necessarily suggest wine) that would contain nutritional properties such as Vitamin C.  In his weakness, he would have to depend more upon the grace of God to minister as a young pastor.



    The Hebrew word that is translated "mark" in Genesis 4:15 is a word that is generally translated "sign" or "signs" some sixty other times in Scripture. It would be an uniqueness about him, a peculiarity.  So what is weird about you?  What makes you different?  What is the mark of God upon your life?  It may be very thing about which other people make fun of you.  My wife, who is an RN, says that there is a medical term "FLK" which stands for a "funny looking kid".  Maybe you were born a FLK and others teased you about it.  It may be your size or height.  It may be a obvious birth mark.  It may be that you were born with obvious missing parts such as Nick Vujicic who was born without arm or legs.  He has a ministry call "Life Without Limbs". Maybe it happened at birth like with David Ring who was born with David was born with Cerebral Palsy, but  who God used to reach millions of people for Christ though David Ring's Ministries. Something may have happened later in your life such as with Joni Eareckson Tada who was injured in a diving accident and became paralyzed.  However, she developed the ministry of "Joni and Friends".  It may be that you were born mentally challenged.  It is not a question of whether or not God could miraculously heal or make whole any of these.  Each have had the grace of God to overcome the obstacles and because of the mark draw many to the Lord.  I must also note that sometimes the "mark" may be not something which seems to be missing such as legs or arms, but something that is added in an unusual measure, such as an IQ which is off the scale or an unusual skill that no one else has.  These can be a source of pain as well as being a blessing.  I know someone who has a super high IQ, but suffers because of isolation.  The mark can even be an hindrance in living a Spirit led life, because one may come to depend upon their unusual ability rather then depending upon God.  So what is your "mark" from God?

    Quite often because of the "mark" we become the object of jokes and criticism.  Maybe your life is "marked" with rejection.  We may easily become discouraged, resent the mark, and may feel that God goofed! We may even become ANGRY at God. We may cry out, "God, WHY did you make me this way?  God, WHY did you let this happen to me?"  We may get angry at God, but rather than venting at God directly, we may vent the anger and bitterness toward other people. We may become especially critical of those who we feel are closely associated with God.  We may spend much of our time, energy, and money trying to get the mark removed or at least somewhat altered.  However, we should remember, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty"  (I Corinthians 1:27).  Instead, of becoming bitter about what makes you different or odd or weird, you should come to praise God for the mark and look to see that God wants to give you a greater measure of His GRACE (His ability) for you to live victoriously and minister.  We can see the "mark" as simply being a weakness and come to fear rejection or we can accept it as a design of God in our lives and look to see what God will do.

    When I was a boy, I had great difficulty in speaking and can relate somewhat to Moses. I stuttered quite a bit and even took speech classes in high school and college, but have not been totally victorious over the difficulty in speaking.  I have often faced a fear of speaking and went totally blank giving a speech in college. I used to have nightmares from time to time from the enemy about getting up to speak before a good audience and everyone would get up and leave when I began to speak.  I would awaken with the terrible thought, something must be terribly wrong with me, that no one wants to hear me speak.  Then one day, only a few years ago, I came to realize that the dreams were a hindrance from the enemy to keep me from speaking.  I rebuked the enemy declaring that God had called me to speak and that was what I would do by the grace of God.  I quit having those nightmares!  I had a good friend, who is something of a prophet, once told me that God told him that I was not to minister by speaking and that if I would not listen to him, he would break fellowship with me. I told him that I thought that he missed God on that one and he broke fellowship with me which is still not restored.  I was even told by someone very close to me that no one wanted to hear me speak.  I decided to obey God and speak anyway and have been doing Radio Spots for about 6 years.  Many people have responded positively to messages.

    Oh, yes, I realize that I am not an eloquent speaker as some are.  That is my point! God made me that way.  It is God's mark upon my life.  However, since God has told me to speak, that is what I will do by the GRACE of God.   However, there may be other people who are commanding with their voices.  That may well be their mark.  However, if they simply depend upon their ability to speak, they will not speak in the power of God.  God looks more at our AVAILABILITY than our ABILITY.

    So what is God's "mark" or "marks" upon your life?  The marks are the generally unchangeable features in your life.  For example you have no power to change the parents that God gave you.  You can't change the time in which you were born.  You can't change your childhood experiences. You may slow the aging process, but only death stops it.

Here are some questions that you may ask yourself:

1. What makes you unusual or unique?
2. What have you been teased about?
3. What have you excelled in?
4. What tragedies have you experienced?
5. What would you totally change about your life, if you had the power to do it?
6. What makes you angry about yourself?
7. What is it in your life that makes you feel weak or helpless?
8. What area of your life opens the door to the sin of pride?
The following is a list of areas that you may find the mark/s of God upon your life.
 
Family
Time of Birth
Gender
Race
Physical Features
Nationality
Mental Capacity
Childhood Experience
Current Position In Life
Age
Aging
Death 

I would strongly suggest that you list each of these areas and write something about each.

Examples:
1. Family = My family were not Christians.  I was the only child and my father was abusive to me and my mother.
2. Time of birth = 20th Century. I was born in a time in which there was a dramatic rise in humanism.
3. Gender = Male.  I hated that because my mother wanted a girl and father wasn't around to show me what it was like to be a man.
4. Race = Hispanic.  I was teased about that while I attended an all white school.
5. Physical Features = I was extremely tall for a girl and got teased about that.
6. Nationality = I was born in a third world country.  Why couldn't I have been born in a modern, richer country?
7. Mental Capacity = I have a very high IQ, but find myself looking down on others and find it difficult to make friends.
8. Childhood Experience = I felt really lonely and depressed and found myself getting in trouble a lot.
9. Current Position In Life = I am fairly successful and own my own business, but really desire to do more for Christ.
10. Age = 45.  I wonder if I have just wasted my life and don't know what to do now.
11. Aging = I don't have the strength or stamina that I used to have.
12. Death = I know that I can't change that, but wonder what would happen to my family, if I die young.
Warning!  If you are have major difficulties in seeing God's mark/s upon your life, it may be because of PRIDE.  That is, you may see yourself somewhat higher than what you should. Watch out! Humility may be just around the corner.  If your life is filled with anger, hate, bitterness, and criticism, then you probably won't be able to see God's mark upon your life.  It would be wise to ask God to deliver you from the anger, hate, bitterness, and criticism and to remove the blindness that the enemy has put upon your eyes.  Remember: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"  (Romans 8:28).  Also remember that God is able take what we see as a curse and turn it into a blessing.  "Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee"  (Deuteronomy 23:5).

Some positive steps of action:

1. See the unchangeable features as the marks of God upon your life.
"And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?"  (Exodus 4:11).
2. Learn to be thankful for God's marks upon your life.
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"  (Ephesians 5:20).
3. Understand the God has a plan for your life.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end"  (Jeremiah 29:11).
4. Place yourself and your life upon the Cross.
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me"  (Luke 9:23).
5. Live by the grace of God.
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"  (Philippians 2:13).
Family
Time of Birth
Gender
Race
.
Physical Features
.
Nationality
Mental
Capacity
Childhood
Experience
Current
Position
in
Life
Age
Aging
Death
~~~~~G~R~A~C~E~~~~~

 



ADDITIONS REFERENCES:
"And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof"  (Ezekiel 9:4). (God set these apart from the rest).

"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads"  (Revelation 7:3).  They were sealed for their protection as was Cain.