A Marked Man (or Woman); an Introduction

A “marked man” used to refer to one who had done something for which he was going to suffer. And our usage of the term may turn out to be the same at times. But I wish to consider what constitutes the “Marks of a Man (or Woman) of God.”

These marks are not what many outside of faith would expect.
They do not include any of the following:
Regular Church Attender
Nice to NeighborsIMG_0327
Gives Lots of Money to Charity
Never Cusses
Lives a Moral Life
Goes to a Religious School
Observant of Religious Holidays

Please understand, none of these are opposed to the Marks of a man of God, but they do not mark a man as one who belongs to God. Anyone may do these things listed and not have anything to do with God.

There are three distinctions, or Marks, that will mark a Man of God, and I will address each of these in more detail in blogs that will follow. But for simplicity, let’s consider first what the three distinctions are in general.

These are presented in journalistic style of the most important idea first, and developing it later, in case someone is inclined just to read the first paragraphs for a quick summary . . . in which case, I may have lost you already!! 😉

The first Mark of a Man (or Woman) of God is LOVE.
The second Mark is Reading and Studying the Bible.
The third Mark is Prayer.

Wow! That is a lot to digest, even if you just stop reading there, if you are thoughtful about these things. But allow me to clarify each of these a little, with more thorough treatment to follow in subsequent blogs.

The LOVE referred to here is not a mushy feeling or sentimental emotion. It is the fluid water of life that can take any shape depending on its surrounding, yet is so strong that not even rocks can resist its persistence. It is more powerful than hate (which is not its opposite), it is consuming of the one who loves, yet fulfilling and completing. Its simplest definition is “to look for the best for another without regard for the cost to oneself.” It is the stuff that made Father create us; it is the stuff that makes Him still reveal Himself to us; it is the stuff that took Jesus to His cross; it is the stuff that will remain when faith is no longer needed because we will see Him face-to-face, and hope will be unnecessary, because all will have been fulfilled and completed. But more on these in another blog.

Reading and Studying the Bible is not like studying Holy Writing of other faiths. The written Word of God has been provided for us over a passage of 15 centuries by 40 different authors, but in an area spanning less than 10,000 miles2 (26,000 km2) of territory. But the constancy of its themes, the consistency of its revelations, and the thoroughness of its addressing the human condition make it a full and complete guide for faith and life, making any other unnecessary, and extremely weak by comparison. It has never been disproven on any point of history or science, although it is not intended to be a complete history nor a scientific text. It has been the most challenged book of history with detractors trying to discredit it since Jeremiah’s scroll was burned by King Jehoikim (Jer. 36), yet it has stood up to every challenge when all the information was gathered. A good resource for questions about the Bible and its authenticity is found at http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html. In the meantime, Wikipedia and many other online resources follow the old tripes of trying to discredit the Bible. Read carefully, all the time, even this blog!

Many other books may have some value in providing historical context or showing what men teach each other when they lack the Light in God’s Word, but only the Bible has stood the test of time and proven to be true in every word in every way at every level. Its effect on individual lives, its transformative power in societies, and its prophetic accuracy all attest to its distinction over all other claims of Holy Writing. Truth is self-evident to the seeker of Truth, and it rings with a crystal pitch like pinging a goblet of fine glass. The Bible has that ring. The lover of Truth will discover it to be all he needs for a rule of faith and practice.

Finally, Prayer is more than the recitation of words into the air. It is a two-way communication with Father, our Creator. He is so vastly higher and Other than we are, as Trish O’Connor says, “Humans explaining the nature of God is like an ant trying to explain who dropped the sugar.”  This is true when humans begin with their own perceptions, but He is willing to explain to us what we are able to understand. In this case, we are not merely ants annoying a picnicker. He loves each and every one of us “ants” and places the sugar for us, and shows us what He is like; He even became an “ant” like us, so that He could more completely explain the rest of His creation, and so that we could communicate better with Him.

So these three mark a man or woman of God: Love, Bible Reading and Study, and Prayer. Have you heard from Him lately? He is there and He is not silent! Are you listening? Next blog, next week, January 18, 2015.

One thought on “A Marked Man (or Woman); an Introduction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.