The Mark

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”

Psalm 130:2–4

Anyone can be the same, but it takes courage to be different.

An invisible mark was on the name of Edwin Booth. Where once he had been a fine actor and one of the best tragedians in America, a giant asterisk now stood beside his name in the minds of the people. He was no longer Edwin Booth the Shakespearean actor, but Edwin Booth the brother of President Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. He retired from the stage to ponder the question why? Edwin Booth's life was a tragic accident simply because of his last name.

The sensationalists wouldn't let him separate himself from the crime. It is interesting to note that he carried a letter with him that could have vindicated him from the sibling attachment to John Wilkes Booth. It was a letter from General Adams Budeau, Chief Secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant, thanking him for a singular act of bravery. It seems that while he was waiting for a train on the platform at Jersey City, a coach he was about to board bolted forward. He turned in time to see that a young boy had slipped from the edge of the pressing crowd into the path of the oncoming train. Without thinking, Edwin raced to the edge of the platform and, linking his leg around a railing, grabbed the boy by the collar. The grateful boy recognized him, but he didn't recognize the boy. It wasn't until he received the letter of thanks that he learned it was Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of his brother's future victim.

No one believed that Edwin was different than his brother; they only saw the great tragedy that John had created in the land. But Edwin was different and had a letter proving it. What a tragedy that he never shared the proof of his difference with those around him.

As a Christian, you are different than the world. You may have the same sin nature as those around you, but you are different; and you have proof of it! God’s seal on your life and His working in your life are proof of your difference in Christ.

But how will anyone know you are different unless you show them? How will they see a difference? Christ tells us to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are to be separate from the world’s ungodly living and show forth Christ through our lives.

How will someone know you are different if you act the same as everyone else? When you accepted Christ as your Saviour, God saved you from the sin of the world and called you to be different than those around you. While the world focuses on self-gratification and pleasure, God desires that you focus on pleasing and glorifying Him with your life.

Take time right now to meditate on 2 Corinthians 6:14–17. Determine to be so different than the world around you that the world can see Christ through your life.

Daily Bible Reading
Leviticus 23-24 • Mark 1:1-22

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