jason terry’s tattoo preaches.

do you see that? look a litter closer. it’s on his right bicep. yes, that’s the larry o’brien trophy that is awarded to the nba franchise that wins the nba finals. and no, he didn’t scramble to the nearest tattoo parlor in miami directly after the game 6, championship-clinching victory over the heat to get inked up. jason “the jet” terry got that tattoo before the start of the 2010-2011 season. in full faith, the jet basically guaranteed that the mavericks would be the 2011 nba world champions.

jason the jet terry > harold camping.

don’t miss this. jason terry believed the mavericks were going to win the championship. he then got a permanent tattoo of the prime tangible reward on the inside of his arm (the same arm responsible for lighting lebron up). and then after the job was done, inherited the reward.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [1] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [2] to the praise of his glory.

when we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ as it pertains to our salvation (that God created us all good, then we sinned and were separated from an all good God, then bad/corruption ensued but immediately after we sinned God, being good, promised a good savior through Jesus Christ despite the bad/corruption of mankind and the world to come, then God being good came down as Christ and was good for life but died for our bad selves and whosoever believes in Him shall obtain eternal life – #quick) – by grace it sinks into the depths of our wretched souls, only to liberate us from death, to life, upon belief. if we reject that, well, hell – no pitchfork.

after liberation comes permeation, in which the Holy Spirit of God literally takes residence inside of us, giving us life, just as it did for the one-time-virgin mary. this Holy Ghost not only powers us to be Christ-like, He seals us for everything that God has promised to us, including Himself! but this is no ordinary lick-the-envelope seal. this is a “once saved, always saved” type of seal …

sphragizo from sphragis = seal, engraved object used to make a mark – denoting ownership, approval, or closure of something normally done by pressing into heated wax usually attached to a document or letter) means to set a seal upon or to mark with a seal. To mark so as to certify that something is so. Seals were used to make something secure, to serve as a guarantee of the correctness of the contents, to indicate authenticity, to indicate ownership. Sacrificial animals were examined and sealed if perfect. Jars, sacks of fruit or grain were sealed.  To mark with a seal as a means of identification in Greek secular writings was used to mark all kinds of animals, so that the mark denoting ownership also carries with it the protection of the owner. – (http://preceptaustin.org)

i hope you didn’t miss that! those of us in Christ are permanently stamped, in a tattoo manner, with the promised Spirit of God, who is our owner (God that is). we are secure in Him and will inherit what He has for us, and this is not of our doing, but simply because of Christ winning, for us, the game of life that we couldn’t win! even believing in the Him of the gospel is by grace!

are you “tatted?” if not, just believe! after liberation and permeation comes celebration! thank you Jesus!

Faith in Flames

The first 3 chapters of Daniel are so nice and speak to remaining faithful to God in a crazy world. Let me introduce Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, young men taken as captives from their home in Judah to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

*Spark Notes*

Daniel’s story: Danny and his buddies being trained to enter the royal service were told to eat of the king’s food. Knowing the king’s food would defile his body, Daniel spoke up and asked to refrain from the king’s food, he was asking to go against the king’s orders. Daniel was committed to honoring God with what he put into his body no matter what country he was in and no matter the consequences. By remaining obedient, Daniel and his boys became stronger than the other men. Later, Daniel was given discernment and wisdom when he was able to interpret King Nebedchanezzar’s dream. King Neb was so impressed by Daniel, he was moved to glorify God, “Truly your God is the God of gods…” and Daniel was elevated to a position of authority.

S, M, and A’s story: These dudes enraged this same King Neb when they refused to bow down to his statue. They refused to bow to any other than the one true God. In consequence, King Neb ordered they be thrown into a fiery furnace. But when King Neb looked into the furnace he not only saw the 3, but a 4th man who had the appearance of a god. All 3 men were delivered out of the fire safely, not a hair singed, and again because of a great display of faith and great work of God, King Neb glorified the Lord of Shadrak, Meshak, and Abednego.

Notice a pattern: Unshakable faith, God shows up and shows out, a pagan, prideful king was brought to glorify the holy and living God.

Having steadfast faith like these men had ain’t easy but there are some highlights that should bring you peace when you feel like you’re walking in the flames of the world’s opposition, trials, and temptation:

You’re Never alone…just like the faithful trio, find peace in the fact that we don’t walk alone. To those who believe in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit is within us to comfort, guide, and even pray for us.

He’s able…When trying to resist the world, God can provide deliverance from some of the hottest ‘furnaces’ or situations, believe that He can make a way. Have faith that He will make a way.

God will receive His glory…The faith that we display to the world should point them to a Higher Love. Has your faith ever brought an unbeliever to glorify God? In our faithfulness to God, refusing to go with the crowd and standing strong against the ways of the world, God will be faithful to us. And the manner and means that God will be  faithful to us can bring others to glorify Him.

Our Reward… We can find peace in the fact that God will reward our faithfulness. Daniel received wisdom and discernment and all four men were elevated to positions of power in a foreign kingdom. I’m not saying that all will be rewarded with power, money or materials, in fact my faith may not be rewarded in this life. But I know for a fact that one day all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be rewarded with an eternal inheritance. Let that sink in because if you know what that inheritance is and if you think about the implications of something that’s going to last for an eternity, those words speak peace.

I was so encouraged by the faith these guys had, faith in the face of flames and later Daniel would have faith in the face of hungry lions. For us, the world is asking us to eat of sexual immorality, to bow and worship the “good life.” Be encouraged to have faith that swims against the strength of the world’s current. I pray strength for my brothers and sisters…