Labelled

June 18, 2015
by Martin Wiles

Whatever I once was, in Christ I am no longer.

One by one, the youth of our church paraded before a troubled teenager and hung unwelcome signs around her neck as the congregation listened to the contemporary Christian song, Beauty from Pain. Abuse, lust, alcohol, drugs, debt, suicide — these and other temptations furiously circled her … until our youth leader, portraying Christ, stepped in and drove them away. He removed the signs one by one and replaced them with a single sign: "Saved." The troubled teen may have become all of what the signs portrayed, but she didn't have to materialize into any of them. Even if she had been one of them at some point in her life, she wasn't any longer, since Christ had stepped in.

Labels are deadly.

Colossians 2:13 – You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. (NLT)

Sex offender, pervert, alcoholic, addict, mentally unstable, emotionally volatile, dishonest — all labels that can easily attach themselves to our reputation. Feelings and experiences of depression, fear, shame, low self-esteem, broken relationships, loneliness, rejection, confusion, and doubt can manufacture more labels than we care to wear.

My label, however, was birthed in the past through Jesus' death on the cross. Many sacrifices had been made previously, but His was radically different. He was the sinless Son of God Who provided a perfect sacrifice. He not only covered my sins, He actually became sin for me.

My label bears fruit in the present. I'm termed a saint and considered God's friend, child, and a joint heir with Jesus. These labels give me motivation to live out in my actions and attitudes the person God genuinely sees me as being. In the future, my label will be wholly realized. In heaven, I'll be all that I can't possibly be here because of sin's presence.

What label are you wearing?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the new label that You give us when we trust Your Son as our Saviour. Enable us to act in ways that represent our label well. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one! Thank you.


    Thank you for sharing this profound Devotional!


    Martin – What a wonderful devotional! Oh that we will show labels which will bring glory to our Heavenly Father. Praise Him!


    So beautiful, thank you for sharing this. I would love for my Sunday School kids to act this out on Good Friday.


    Dear Martin;
    An awesome written devotional! Thank you. Many people need to hear that message.


    Hello Martin: What an excellent Devotional you wrote. It truly Blessed my heart. God Bless You, dear Brother and keep on writing!!
    (N.B. Canada)


    Amen, beautiful message Martin! It reminds me of what the apostle Paul said: “it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”
    God bless.


    Hey Martin,
    Thanks for the courage to address this issue.
    Many need to hear this.
    I pray many will be blessed upon its reading.


    Whoa! Powerful images, Martin. As I began to read I thought, ‘what a cruel thing to do.’ THEN I understood your message.
    Excellent. Clear. One that we all need to heed.
    Blessings to you
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Thank you Martin for highlighting the important role labels play in our Christian walk and service!
    Blessings.

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