Branded In Christ
What? know ye not that your body is the temple
of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye
have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Iíve always been fascinated by the Old West. I love all those old westerns with
the shoot-outs and cattle drives. I was thinking about those cowboys on their
cattle drives recently and about the concept of branding. Branding was originally
any visible mark that showed identification for livestock. When we become
Christians, we are in a sense branded for Christ. He sets His mark on us and
sets us apart. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, He has ownership
of our bodies and us. Come saddle up with me as we explore this concept using
some of the objects found in the Old West.
The main purse of a horseshoe is to furnish protection for the
horses hooves against abrasion and breakage. The Lord doesnít just set us in
the world and expect us to have all the friction and roughness of the world bear
into us as we bump along in life. The Lord is there for us to protect us. The
world doesnít have that strong arm to lean on but we do as children of the Lord.
Thatís one thing that sets us apart.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I
be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart
shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in
this will I be confident. Psalm 27:1-3
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the
miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established
my goings. Psalm 40:2
Chaps were leather coverings for the legs of the cowboy. They were
usually made out of sturdy leather and made to protect the legs. It was
something that was needed because of the shrubs and vegetation that tore at the
cowboys legs. God gives us wonderful protection by providing His Word for us
as His children. When the world starts tearing at us and reaching out to grab us
with all it has to offer, we can be refreshed and cling to the Word of God and find
peace and comfort there. This sets us apart as Christians. Those without Christ
donít have the comfort of God's Word to rely on.
This is my comfort in my affliction:
for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm 119:50
My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me
according to thy word. Psalm 119:25
Cowboy Hat Ė
The cowboy hat was used for protection from the sun, but it was
also useful and functional to the cowboy. On their cattle drives, the cowboys
could signal with their hat and also use it to dip water out of streams when they
were thirsty. Itís such a wonderful thing that the Lord is always there to shade us
if we just stay close to Him. We can be shaded and dip into His Word and into
the power of prayer and be refreshed in Him.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
Saddles were originally used for working cattle ranchers. As
Christians, we are set apart to work. We have a job to do. We are not set apart
to be idle but we are here to carry out the Great Commission. God sets us apart
from the world by making us His ambassadors. We represent Him. We need to
be in the saddle so to speak, evangelizing and spreading the gospel and the love
of Christ in our daily lives.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another. John 13:35
Tumbleweeds are plants that were abundance in the Old West.
Although now they are kept under control for the most part, if you live in the Western United States
you may be familiar with them. They are plants that break away from their roots.
The wind can pick them up and carry them with great force usually carrying lots
of dust as they go. Tumbleweeds can be troublesome because they tend to
push other vegetation out and take over.
The interesting thing about
tumbleweeds is that they carry seeds everywhere when the wind blows them and
more grow. They typically have around 250,000 seeds. They donít all scatter in
one spot, as tumbleweeds donít release all their seeds at once. Isnít that so like
the fiery darts of the devil? They keep on growing and coming at us as
Christians. The Lord knew that the tumbleweeds of the world would come rolling
by in our lives as His children. Those tumbleweeds make us rely on Him more.
The world doesnít have that reliance on the Lord like Christians do when trials
and tumbleweeds come. Having the knowledge that God is completely in control
of every situation is something that sets us apart as Christians.
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
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
If you are not familiar with what a spur is; it is a sharp metal piece
attached to a cowboy boot. A spur is used for the purpose of goading a horse.
Itís an incentive to make the horse move forward. Christ left us with the Holy
Spirit to be our spur. The Holy Spirit is there to prick and guide us as Christians.
When we are sensitive to His leading, we move forward in the direction that the
Lord would have us go. This sets us apart as Christians. The world doesnít
have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct them.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things
to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
in believing, that ye may abound in hope,through
the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
I love the fact that the Lord brands us with His touch. Thereís so much He gives
us as His children. The things mentioned above are just a small helping of what
God gives us when we accept Him as Lord of our lives. Have you heard that
saying before? ďItís not important who you are but Whose you are
Ē. Thereís so
much we are given when we become Christians but we have to remember
Whose we are. We have to live our lives according to how the Lord would have
us because ďwe are not our own
Ē as it states in 1 Corinthians 6:19.
I wonder if I stand out and people can see Whose brand is on me. As Christians,
we are to shine in a dark world. I hope Iím doing that. I want to be identified for
So, Whose brand are you wearing?
Copyright ©2001-2013 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
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