Imprint

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

We do not have a choice whether or not we leave an imprint. Just by existing in the day to day, we will impact those around us. We do have a choice, however, in how we want to use our life and the affect we have on others. We can use it to either make a positive imprint or a negative one. The wise person will take every opportunity to be intentional about affecting change, love, truth, peace, and hope where they live and beyond.

Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

Deuteronomy 4:5-6 (NKJV)

God selected for Himself a nation that He saved from their bondage, trained through the desert, and empowered to conquer the sinful nations occupying the Promised Land. Through Moses, God proclaimed time and time again to be careful to follow His commands so that they would prosper; so that they would leave a positive imprint. If God didn’t have a plan for the redemption of mankind He probably wouldn’t have bothered with the nation of Israel, teaching them, and preserving them. The plan He had for Israel was about far more than just Israel itself. The same goes for you and me. He did not just redeem us for our sakes alone but so that we may now be careful to walk in the light and expel the darkness around us, not partake in it.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 (NIV)

This world offers many counterfeits, some of which disguise themselves as being for God, yet contains ungodly practices that go back thousands of years. In Proverbs 23:17 we’re told not to envy sinners (or what they do) but to be zealous for God. We’re told in Romans Chapter 12 to not be conformed to this world yet many still blend right in. Each of us needs to decide whether we are going to water down our Christian walk to be nothing more than a label or if we’re going to love to the fullest, walk in holiness, and observe God’s commands. We need to decide if we’re going to pick and choose what works best for us in scripture and stumble our way through this life or take the Bible as the literal Word of God and live out the powerful force of a Holy Spirit filled life.

Our life is our ministry and our ministry is our life. We must choose whether to let this world dictate our theology or let the infallible Word of God dictate the world around us. What better imprint to leave than a godly one? Encourage the weak, love the unlovable, bring peace to the unrest. Speak truth into a confused world, but speak it in grace. Show compassion for the downtrodden, and empathy for the hurting. Be that beacon of hope and let your joy be contagious. Wherever the believers treads, thereto the Savior has walked.

Peace in Christ my brothers and sisters.

A Story About Impact No Matter Our Age

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus.

Revelation 1:9

“They have burned our possessions, but they cannot burn Jesus from our hearts.”

I read the following story from the Voice of the Martyrs. It’s an amazing organization that helps the persecuted believers around the world.

Origen was not the typical eighteen-year-old. He was a teacher in second-century Egypt. As the church of his day suffered severe persecution, Origen did not spend his time chasing girls or trying to impress his peers. Instead of running from the horror that had killed even his own father, Origen chose to become a companion with the persecuted church.

Origen spent his time encouraging Christians who had been brought before the court. When they were led to death, he walked up to kiss them. He even visited the prisons to comfort the believers. But Origen soon found himself in grave danger for his compassion toward the condemned believers. Soon soldiers were posted around his house because of his influence on the church. He had many enemies, and the anger towards him grew hotter each day. He was eventually forced to leave the city. He moved from house to house because of the many threats against his life. But spurred on by the examples of faith in Hebrews, he continued being a companion to those who were persecuted. He even employed several people to handwrite additional copies of the Scriptures.

Eventually, his amazing attitude drew some of his enemies to Christ. However, he was eventually imprisoned, tortured, and killed for this same attitude.

When I read this story I couldn’t help but to think about both my children and my own childhood. I seriously doubt that I would have been like Origen at 8 years old. It takes a special person to join a cause that risks their own life at such a young age. Origen’s father must have been a great example for him. Will my children be empowered and passionate about the things of God? Am I teaching them the values of a Biblical lifestyle and what it means to be committed to the cause of Christ? When I go home to be with Jesus and leave them behind, will they take their place in the kingdom mission? Am I displaying a life of surrender to the greater calling on my life? This was such a challenge for me!

We have to be a legacy for our next generation. Every child is passionate. We have to guide their passion in the use of the gospel. Anyone can inspire. Anyone can encourage. Anyone can display the love of Christ. Age is no barrier.

One of the songs that’s spoken to me a lot on this topic is Only Jesus by Casting Crowns. Take a look at the lyrics:

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
I got lost in the light when it was up to me
To make a name the world remembers
But Jesus is the only name to remember

CHORUS
And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
Only Jesus
And I, I’ve only got one life to live
I’ll let every second point to Him
Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won
Will crumble into dust when it’s said and done
But all that really matters
Did I live the truth to the ones I love
Was my life the proof that there is only One
Whose name will last forever.

When it all comes to an end, it shouldn’t matter to us whether our loved ones cherish our memory, but the memory of a life lived for Jesus. Origen must have seen the life of Jesus displayed in someone close to him. No doubt, those in his life saw Jesus displayed in him.

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬