“Treasured By Our Father God” (John 1: 12 – 13, KJV) by Carley Evans

To those of us who believe in His Son, God gives the right and the power to become His children. Our birthright comes not from ourselves, not from the will of our earthly parents, not from our own wills or from our own desires, but from His will and His desire.

God has a plan, a blueprint He follows. He marks us with Himself — His own Holy Spirit once we are washed with the blood of His Son, Jesus the Christ. Like the potter who stamps his clay creations with his mark, so God marks us with His seal, the promised Holy Spirit. We become His possessions. We are liked signed masterpieces hung in an art gallery, each one unique and treasured by our Father; each one insured against loss, theft, damage.

Great art only increases in value. Great art does nothing in and of itself, certainly nothing which causes it to become great art. The artist is the valuable asset; the art is only a reflection of Him.

‘No Sign Is Given’ (Mark 8: 29, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Jesus asks each of us, “Who do you say that I Am?”

The answer we give marks us for eternity. If we say with our mouths, “You are the Christ,” then we know the truth, and this truth sets us free — free from sin and death.

If we say, “You are a great teacher,” then we do not know the truth, and the lie we believe does not serve us well. Believing Jesus is only a great teacher may comfort us, but this lie does not save.

The Pharisees in an attempt to test Jesus demand a sign from heaven. “But sighing deeply in His Spirit, [Jesus] says, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you: No sign is given to this generation!’ ” (Mark 8: 12)

Jesus asks His disciples who the people say He is. Some people say, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.” (Mark 8: 28) In other words, the people recognize Jesus is an extraordinary man, but miss the obvious truth that He is more than just a man.

When Jesus asks Peter, Peter responds rightly, “You are the Messiah!” (Mark 8: 29)

Jesus does not deny Peter’s statement. Instead He warns His disciples to keep this truth to themselves for now.