being Branded By God
“Branded By God” this expression means “loyalty to a man’s employer (God) or the particular outfit (Holy Spirit) he rode for.” The brand (The Cross”) was a symbol for those who lived and worked on the ranch—a visual representation of the values and principles they believed in (The Bible”). The cowboy dedicated himself to the boss (God) and to the group (The Church”), to values like discipline, focus, honesty, respect, and teamwork. The idea of riding for the brand can easily apply to our personal relationship with God.
From now on let no one cause me trouble, I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus.
***In Romans 12 Paul tells us how to ride for Christ's brand.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord . Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Romans 12:9-21 NLT
Essentially, “Branded By God means putting the welfare of your group above personal gain.” That’s pretty clear, don’t you think? Stop thinking about how a deal or situation or issue will benefit just you! Think in broader terms. Consider others. Act to bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.
What is Riding for the Brand and what does it mean to you and me? Well, Branded By God means that we put Purpose in the saddle of our dreams, beliefs and actions. It means that we look within before looking without so that we will be better able to address the concerns of the community. It means that give our best (even when our best is only 68% of who we can be). It means showing up, day in and day out, and doing the work that is necessary. It means that we “live outside the box” of convention. It means that we sacrifice and give and love and support and encourage and believe. It means that we “Buy In” and “Live Up!”