Little Jesse Smith came up to me Wednesday and I thought he had already had his face painted for Halloween. He had several of what I thought were painted freckles on his face. But they weren't painted.
They were the imprints of a piece of a magnolia tree that impacted on his cheek when propelled by another little boy's strong right arm. Having been involved in several sub-nuclear exchanges like that myself as a boy, I smiled and hoped the "freckles" would fade away, and not leave a scar.
I carry on my body similar imprints, maybe we all do to a certain extent or another. The scar from a minibike fall, those from softball, the one from my Christmas pocketknife (didn't get to keep that long).
They even served as identification for my draft card. If you wanted to identify David Wilson, if you knew the scars, you could pick me out of a crowd.
I came across this verse in my devotional reading today.
For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus. Gal. 6:17
I thought about what Paul must have meant. Then I found these:
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit.9 We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.10 Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Cor 4:8-10 (NLT)
Paul was beaten, stoned, whipped, shipwrecked, and his body showed it. People could tell what he had endured for the cause of Christ.
I sat in a room with several pastors yesterday. No one had any visible scars, unless you count my brother from Shalimar who fell off a roof and is still wearing a back and shoulder brace. But if you were an intimate party within their lives, you'd know the scars are there. Comes with the job.
If you have been faithful in following Christ, you have them too. Scars
I want to thank you today, Pastors and lay people alike who have given their lives to Christ and are serving Him in ministry. Volunteer or salaried, male or female, young or old, I am so thankful for you.
Thank you for giving of your time to God's purposes when there were things undone at home.
Thank you for enduring discouragement and criticism and pressing on in God's work.
Thank you for placing your trust in those of us who serve God through His church and His people.
Thank you for giving to God's work when there were needs and wants you chose not to fill.
Thank you for those times you were giving all you had and no one noticed.
Thank you for loving Christ more than you love anything or anyone else.
We might not recognize you by your scars, but the Lord knows you have them. Great will be your reward in heaven one day. Until then, let the life of the Lord Jesus Christ be seen through your lives. That's the best advertisement for Christ there is.
This devotional is written by David Wilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist church in Valparaiso, FL. If you find you have received this via a forward and would like to receive it regularly, or find you no longer wish to receive it, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make the change to the list. If you'd like to know more about New Hope, visit our website at www.newhopevalp.org . May God bless you.