Garland Of Grace – 01.02.15


The Spiritual Sharpie…Inking My Son in Nashville

“I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:33 -34

A few years ago, our family made the 2 ½ hour journey from our home in Jacks Creek, Tennessee to the Oprymills Mall located in Nashville. We had been planning the shopping trip for a few weeks, and our children had been saving their money. The Oprymills Mall is one of the primary shopping hubs in the region. It is strategically located in the middle of middle Tennessee, and draws people from three states. Needless to say, it is always crowded. Because of this, it would be easy for a child to get separated from their parents. We were concerned about this, especially when it came to our 3 ½ year old son Elijah, who had a natural tendency to run. What if he ran ahead of us and got swallowed up in the sea of people? What if we lost him in Nashville? These unbridled concerns hovered in our minds as we tried to find a solution. Sarah and I had never been a fan of putting our child on a leash. We have always found that to be a little creepy and disturbing (Sorry to all of you leash parents out there).

As we thought, I remembered seeing a sharpie marker in the glove box of the car. I said to Sarah, “What if we took a sharpie and wrote our cell number on his chest? If he got lost, we could teach him to lift up his shirt and show it to an appropriate authority figure like a police officer or security guard.” At first she thought it was a little crude, but she quickly realized it was our best bet. So as we entered the mall, I picked him up and placed him on the outside ledge, and Sarah wrote our cell number with a black sharpie on his chest. By doing so, we felt secure in knowing that if he did run off, we had a plan. As parents we had etched our identity upon him designating that he belonged to us.

On our way home, I was reminded of the new covenant passage in Jeremiah 31. It expresses the very heart of God the Father, and how He cherishes His children as His possession. It describes the covenant relationship that would be between God and His people, along with the promise of the coming Messiah. To signify that His children belonged to Him, God would etch His law upon their hearts. It was His way of showing possession of His covenant people. The new covenant has been described as the covenant of all covenants, surpassing all prior covenants established between God and His people. In the message of the new covenant we clearly see the gospel; the only way a person can be protected and preserved is to have our Father’s stamp upon their heart. This is only available through a personal relationship with is Son Jesus Christ.

There were many children at the mall that day, but Elijah belonged to us. And when we etched our parental stamp upon him signifying he belonged to us, it was our way of securing his safety. Do you have God the Father’s new covenant stamp upon your heart? Has He etched His law upon you with His spiritual sharpie and secured you forever? If not, quit running, and submit to Him today!

 – Pastor Eric


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