Thursday, January 3, 2013

Forever Stamps

“Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…”—Ephesians 1:13-14

Pull. Peel.  Press.  Pull. Peel. Press.
I had a rhythm going—thanks largely to my stamp dispenser, which made light work of adding postage to numerous envelopes.  With ease I pulled the plastic-coated backing from the coil, causing the edge of a stamp to slightly peel as it exited the mouth of the dispenser, giving me quick access to pinch it and press it on the next piece of mail.
One of my responsibilities as treasurer of my church is processing our church donations to missions, which includes printing and mailing the checks—a time-consuming task I can perform with very little thought, as I’ve had umpteen years of practice. To keep my job from becoming monotonous I incorporate a little prayer in the process. Each time I sign a check, stuff it in an envelope, and stick a stamp on it, I offer a prayer for that particular ministry. 
This morning while reading the recipient’s name printed on the face of the envelope, I applied the stamp, running my finger across to smooth it, taking in the picture of the American flag. Then I noticed something I had never seen before on the “Forever” stamp—the word “freedom.”
Thank You, God, for the freedoms we have in America.  Thank You for these missionaries who have devoted their lives to sharing Your good news both within and beyond our borders.  Use this financial gift to further their work so others may hear and experience freedom from sin and inherit everlasting life—a home in heaven “forever.”
I pulled off another stamp imprinted with a different word, “liberty.”
Now I was curious.  How many different words are imprinted on these “Forever” stamps?  I read two more, “justice” and “equality.”
Freedom. Liberty. Justice. Equality. All interwoven in the U.S. Constitution. And all tenets of our Christian faith.
Emancipation Proclamation (Forever)
Photo: USPS
The bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Sin separates us from God.  The bible also tells us that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, logic says that death would be required of each of us for our sin.  That being the case, we would never be able to enter heaven, to see God.  But He had a plan.  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  Jesus paid our penalty on the cross—once and for all.  That’s a huge gift offered to all mankind. Equality. If we refuse the gift, we accept the penalty.  Justice. Accepting the gift brings freedom of everlasting life and liberty from the bondage of sin. Opening the gift is as simple as opening our hearts to Jesus, confessing our sin and professing He is Lord.
That’s it. Nothing more will be required.  Jesus paid the price.
The premise of the “forever” stamp is that once purchased, they are “forever” acceptable. Nothing more will be required, even in the event of a USPS price hike.
Those of us who have accepted Jesus’ gift have been marked with His “forever” stamp.  He has pulled us from the miry pit (Psalm 40:2), peeled off our filthy rags and given us clean garments (Zechariah 3:4), and pressed His seal on us (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Pull. Peel. Press.
A “forever” stamp means nothing more will be demanded at the post office.  And nothing more will be demanded at heaven’s gate post.
Dear Jesus, thank You for paying the price for my sin so I can live with You forever. Help me to be a missionary.  Send me as Your letter of recommendation to others so they too can know this freedom I have found in You. Amen.
NOTE: On January 2, 2013 the USPS began selling a new limited-edition “Forever” stamp to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed on January 1, 1863. 

Spot another spiritual correlation?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Desiree,

    Wow!!! What a wonderful way to look at what Christ did for us!!! We are forever stamped as His children and there is nothing more required!!! He paid our postage for our trip to be with Him!!! Wow!!! What a fantastic way to look at our salvation!!! Very creative and very true!!! Awesome!!! I love this!!!



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