Branded with Scars

Few of us have ever suffered as the apostle Paul for the sake of the gospel. How beautiful is every mark upon a believer’s body because of suffering for the Man of Calvary, who shall eternally bear the wounds of His great love for us. Let us enter into the spirit which characterized the apostle Paul. “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Gal 6:17). May we abstain from the manners of a Christless world and testify by our lives and love for the gospel whose we are and whom we serve.

The Son of God, Christ Jesus, is Lord of our profession. He is a Prince and a Savior and should be counted worthy of suffering for His name (Acts 5:41). By a good confession we may show we are partakers of the heavenly calling. “Ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly whilst ye were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion on me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Heb 10:33-34). Heavenly glory shines upon those suffering from identification with and devotion to Christ. “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10).

In his zeal and devotion the apostle endured the following: “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep. In hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness.” In North America we do not experience the persecution and suffering for the gospel as did the apostle. Believers in Hong Kong, China and Islamic countries presently and in the future know suffering for the name of the Lord Jesus. Theirs will be an everlasting glory. “Inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of His glory ye may rejoice with exceeding joy” (I Pet 4:13).

May our hearts be moved and our hands strengthened to bear the banner of the gospel with godly courage and fear. It is far better to have a tomato stain, stone or broom stick bump or blisters on our feet than no public identification with the gospel of Christ. Young believers, make it the discipline of your life to be seen with the gospel. Distribution regularly of gospel tracts in your neighborhood and farther afield will give you joy and the blessing of identification with the Lord Jesus Christ in this day of grace.

Christians go and tell of Jesus,
How He died to save our souls;
How that He from sin might free us,
Suffered agonies untold.
Yes, we’ll go and tell of Jesus,
The pure and holy, meek and lowly Jesus;
Yes, we’ll go and tell of Jesus,
Who died our souls to save.