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A Marked Man

But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children;
I will not go out as a free man’, then his master shall bring him to God,
then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost.
And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl;
and he shall serve him permanently.
Exodus 21: 5-6

Paul labels himself and others in his group as bondservants.[1] I doubt that they were still practicing the “awl” law but Paul put himself in this elite group and I doubt that anyone would have argued with him–with or without the obvious marking. How did he merit this honorable title? He lived as the Lord’s bondservant! His life dramatically shouted out to everyone who knew him, “I am a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ!”His life proclaimed his passionate love for his Master! His life left no doubt about his undivided, intense loyalty! He boldly declares in his letter to Galatia, From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus (Galatians 6:17). He needed no other evidence.

What do those who have labeled themselves bondservants face today? Probably the most serious consequences we would have to face in our western culture would be rejection, ridicule, heavy peer pressure, financial harassment, and libelous slander. I consider myself a bondservant–I’m definitely a member of His team–I’m bonded to Him permanently, but I’m very safe in that role. I’m not hunted, under constant observation, or fearful for my family or myself. But being a bondservant of Christ in places other than America is dangerous–even life threatening–and there are many who “bear on their bodies” marks of torture that place them among these honored followers.

All of that to ponder, could I be a bondservant if that role were life threatening? Could I face my world as an undesirable branded person for all to see? I don’t know, but God does and He just might think I’m worthy of being a part of that privileged group some day. (Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.). I give Him permission to do as He sees fit. I want to believe that I would, by His grace, proclaim to the world what a marvelous, loving, powerful, compassionate Master He is, that I wouldn’t wear a kerchief or pull my hair around trying to hide my scarred ear, and that I would bear the name of bondservant proudly–for I do love my Master deeply.

“No wound? No scar?
Yet as the master shall the servant be, and pierced are the feet that follow me.
But yours are not.”
Can he have followed very far, he who has no wound, nor scar?”
(Author unknown)


[1] Rom. 1:1, Gal. 1:10, Phil. 1:1, Col. 1:7, 4:7, 4:12

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.