Mugged by the Mirror
All of us are born with unique distinguishing characteristics that identify who we are. Our hair color, our eye color, the fullness of our lips, how many freckles we have, our birthmarks, our DNA, all combine to form a body that is unlike any other on all of the earth. You see these specific characteristics each time you look in the mirror, catch a glimpse of your reflection or see yourself in pictures, allowing you and others to recognize you. It is quite amazing that in over 7 billion people around the world, not one other person is exactly like you. You are an incredible work of art, some would even say a masterpiece! Yet, we are so often drawn to only our perceived flaws and failures when we look at ourselves. Rather than focusing on the masterpiece that God has created in each one of us, our society and past experiences contribute to more of a depressed and discouraged perspective of who we are.
In Ephesians 2:10, God himself declares you as His masterpiece, His greatest piece of work, made personally by His own hands. If you are in Christ, “you are a new creation; old things having passed away; all things becoming new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). So those faulty, blemished areas you see in yourself are wiped away and become clean and perfect! The secret is Christ living within you (Colossians 1:27). God himself made you, before you were ever formed in the womb, he knew the details of your physical, emotional, and spiritual makeup (Job 33:4, Jeremiah 1:5). His own breath gave you life!
Because you are a creation of God’s hands, chosen by God, He marks you with His seal of ownership. When you were born into this world, you were given a certificate of birth, indicating the date, time, and location of your birth, your parents’ names, and the signature of the doctor who delivered you, proving your birth. It is a certified, sealed and signed document. If anyone wants to change the name or parents on the birth certificate, a court order is required. In other words, changing who you belong to can only be done by the agency originally issuing the seal.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “seal” means “to confirm, authenticate or guarantee.” So, when a birth certificate receives a raised seal, making it official, it means it is guaranteed that the information contained on it is authentic and true. God also gives us a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, marking us as His possession. If you believe and are baptized, you receive this seal, marking you as a child of His for eternity. God’s seal is permanent and unbreakable. The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies that it is a finished transaction, that you have been sealed once and for all (Jeremiah 32:9; John 17:4, 19:30). It also signifies ownership, that you belong to God (Jeremiah 32:11, 12; 2 Timothy 2:19). And the seal symbolizes security in your eternal place in Heaven (Esther 8:8, Daniel 6:17, Ephesians 4:30). “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13). “He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:22). The Spirit’s presence is God’s guarantee that believers are owned by Him and secure in Him.
While it is often too easy to fall into society’s pressures to focus on all of your flaws and failures, remember that your true identity is defined by God. You are God’s masterpiece, marked by the seal of the Holy Spirit and given an eternal identity as an heir of Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14), in the exact image of God (Genesis 1:27), for the divine glory of God (Isaiah 43:7). When you look in the mirror, let your reflection be that of Christ Jesus, and not of society’s or self-imposed expectations! God holds your identity. Don’t let the enemy try to steal it.
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