Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Not Ours to Keep

 

Not Ours to Keep

Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." ... After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Have you ever seen a seal? Most of us have the imprint of a seal on an official document somewhere—a birth or baptismal certificate, a marriage license, the deed to a house. The seal is the mark that makes the document official. It indicates that the proper authority has seen the paperwork and that it is all true, right, and correct.

In Jesus' day, a seal could be used as a sign of ownership. It was rather like we use signatures today—if you wanted to mark something as your own, you could put some clay or wax down, and push your seal into it. Or you could use ink and stamp the seal on to a document. "This is mine" was the message of the seal.

Sometimes it had a further message. The rock covering the entrance to Jesus' tomb was sealed by the authorities. The message here was very specific: "This is our affair. Don't mess with it."

In this passage from Revelation, we have an angel shouting a warning to the other angels who are about to do serious damage to the earth. He says, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." What is the message here? God is saying, "These people are Mine. Don't mess with them!"

And that's the seal God has set on you at your Baptism, isn't it? When you were baptized, it was just as if God signed His Name on you: "This is Mine." It was like being sealed on the forehead: "This person is My affair. Let no one try to harm My child!"

God has marked you, sealed you, signed you as His own. And why? Because Jesus bought you back from death at the cost of His own life. He delivered you from the power of the devil, now and forever. And because He has risen from the dead, He always lives to keep you safe. You will never be destroyed. You are His. And in the end, you will see Him face to face.

Dear Lord, thank You for marking me as Yours. Amen.

Dr. Kari Vo

Reflection Questions:
1. What kinds of things do you mark as yours, and why?

2. When were you baptized, and under what circumstances?

3. When do you remember your Baptism? How does that help you?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever seen a seal? Most of us have the imprint of a seal on an official document somewhere—a birth or baptismal certificate, a marriage license, the deed to a house. The seal is the mark that makes the document official. It indicates that the proper authority has seen the paperwork and that it is all true, right, and correct.

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