|Photo courtesy Erik Thorson 2013|
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Famed evangelist Billy Graham tells the story of an English missionary who died in India during the early 1900's. Immediately his former neighbors broke into his home and pillaged it, stealing the man's possessions. The English consul was notified, and an official went to investigate.
The missionary did not have a lock on his door, so it could not be secured. The official simply pasted a piece of paper across it and affixed the seal of England on it. After that, there was no more looting. No one dared to break the seal because it represented what was at the time the world's most powerful nation.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation - having also believed,
you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance,
with a view to the redemption of God's own possession,
to the praise of His glory.
to the praise of His glory.
In the East, a seal was more important than a signature. The signet used to imprint a seal usually sat in a ring inscribed with words or symbols and reflected an office of importance. It was usually used with clay, because of its permanence. Wax was used, too, but was not as desirable because it was prone to melt in the hot sun. Clay hardened over time. In order to break the seal, the clay itself would have to be broken.
In the Bible a seal represented both security and ownership. An official seal was used to hold Daniel in the lions' den, and the seal of Rome kept anyone from tampering with the tomb of Jesus under pain of death. In the book of Esther we discover the Persian king who ruled over Israel was unable to revoke his own decree, because it was sealed it with his official signet ring.
Ancient Ephesus was a port city and carried on an extensive trade in lumber. A purchase was made by selecting the timber, stamping it with a signet or other sign of ownership. When the buyer was ready for the lumber, he would send an agent with the signet to locate and claim all the wood with his seal on them.
Remember now, that You have made me as clay.
If you have bowed your knee to Jesus Christ, the imprint of God is on your heart. You are sealed by the authority of the Lord on high. You are under His protection, and the power of all Heaven stands behind His mark. He is sealed in you. He can't leave without breaking the clay and His promise to never leave you forsaken.
You may feel fragile, weak, and ready to break. The heat you're feeling, however, will just harden the seal of the Master on your life. Nothing in this creation, nothing in your future, and nothing in your past can destroy you. The power of God is unbreakable, because He will never revoke His own decree.
You are, quite literally, possessed by Christ. Be comforted, for the full power of the Lord is behind His mark on you. You are safe. You are His. You are treasured.
You are unbreakable.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7