The other day I was talking with a friend who gave me a wonderful suggestion: When you purchase or receive a gift card, put your name or initials on the back of the card with a permanent marker.
This especially applies if you use the gift card at a business — like a restaurant — where you would hand it to someone to pay for your purchase. If you’re handed back the wrong card, you’ll immediately know it. This also keeps card-switch scammers from robbing you.
That is a wonderful way to protect what is important to you. I thought of that in light of what the Bible says about those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
One of the many blessings God bestows on His children, those who put their faith in Jesus alone for salvation and eternal life, is the precious gift of placing His Name on their foreheads.
In Revelation 3:12, the Lord says that He will write the Name of God on the forehead of His faithful ones. I don’t know about you, but I find that comforting. Even permanent marker ink can be removed, if you know what chemical would work on the kind of material you wrote your name on.
But I don’t care what kind of chemical or skills someone has, if God has indelibly written His Name on you there is nothing in the universe, or from any other place, that will ever be able to remove that Name. Not only are you an over-comer in Christ, but no one can ever overcome the identifying mark God personally places on you.
In Revelation 22:4, God also tells us that His Name will be on the forehead of everyone who places their faith in Christ. The context of these two promises must not be overlooked. The placing of His Name on an individual is mentioned in the midst of the struggles of following Christ through the trials of everyday life, but it is also mentioned where you stand before God Most High there at the end of all things.
You may not be able to see the Name of God on your forehead as you go through life, but God can see it; He is the One who placed it there. No matter how ruffed up you get as the world pushes you down and around, no matter how soiled you get through the various unwise decisions you make as a Christian, the Name of God on your forehead will shine brightly through it all.
That is not the only marking God gives you when you place your faith in Jesus Christ for the gift of eternal life; God also tells us in Ephesians 1:13 that He “seals you” with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given to you as a “down payment” of the promised inheritance you have forever in Christ.
God seals you inside with the indwelling Holy Spirit, and He seals you on the outside with the Name of God written indelibly on your forehead.
Consider how precious you are to God when you place your faith in Christ. He wants to make certain that you never get lost. He wants to make certain that regardless of how many hands you pass through, regardless of how many spiritual mud holes you stumble or jump into, nothing is going to allow you to end up being overlooked and placed in the wrong eternal destination.
Although you can take a permanent marker and safeguard your gift cards, you can’t do the same for your own soul to get into heaven. But you can place your faith in Jesus as the One, the Only One, who paid for your sins by dying on the cross in your place, and then rising from the dead to assure that you will be declared no longer guilty of sin when you place your faith in Him. And when you do, not only are you forgiven of all your sins, you are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, and then God will permanently write His Name on you.
I took my friend’s suggestion and wrote my name on my gift cards. I suggest you safeguard your soul and receive the gift of eternal life by placing your faith in Jesus today. Then God will write His Name permanently on you.
McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.