apostrophe - indicates the possessive case of singular and plural nouns, and indicates the omission of letters in contractions and figures in date
Indicates the possessive case of singular nouns
The apostrophe “indicates the possessive case of singular nouns.” Possessive case. Let that sink in for just a moment. This is one of the many punctuation rules that has great spiritual implications. Read that phrase once more: possessive case! Don’t miss the wonderful implications from Scripture about the indication of the possessive case of the word preceding the apostrophe. We belong! Living as a single apostrophe acknowledges whose we are. To be a possession of the Lord God is perhaps the most wonderful gift on this side of eternity. Scripture says that we are bought with a price. And that price is the blood of Christ Jesus. Two favorite passages that emphasize this wonderful truth are found in Galatians 2:20 and Philippians 1:21. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We are also reminded of being His “possession” through the understanding that as His creation, we belong to Him. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 To some, being described as a “possession” may at first appear a little unnerving; even to the point of being offended at the reference or insinuation of slavery. However, once we understand that because of this magnificent truth we have access to the wonderfully high and exalted God of the universe, our anxiety and concern quickly diminish. We have become His children. We can now see Him as our Father. And as He is our father, then we have become heirs. Oh to be the in the possession of God Almighty. Jesus himself gives us a word of eternal encouragement to those who belong to the Lord when He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29 italics mine) Isn’t that one of the most encouraging words we could hear as a believer? We belong to Him… and nothing, or no one, can steal us away! We cannot be separated from Him. (Romans 8: 38-39 is also encouraging)
Every Believer has a life that is read. It matters what you “write.”
Punctuation is only a small part of the whole story. The following are a few other items to consider as they relate to the story you live, and the story they read…
No one likes to be judged based on their outward appearance. And God himself said He looks at the heart. However, the truth is that Scripture is filled with various adjectives describing the outward appearance of numerous people, both ugly and beautiful. Some we would desire to be in their presence, and some we would surely run from. Joseph was handsome. Saul was handsome and tall. Rachel and Bathsheba were described as very beautiful. Moses was a beautiful child. David was a ruggedly handsome man. Goliath was a giant. Zaccheus was short. Eglon, king of Moab, was extremely fat. There were demon possessed men who were uncontrollable. There were others who showed such outward emotions that others were frightened of them. Samson and Absalom had long hair. Elisha was bald. And these are just a few of the simple outward appearances.
Simple outward appearances can be deceiving. And we are encouraged to let our outward appearance be honoring to the Lord and not be a distraction. The body we are given is special; unique to the task God will have us complete. He knew us, He knit us together in our mother’s womb. Be sure to understand that His first concern of course is the heart: the inner man. If Christ is real to us and we are being transformed into His likeness, then our outward appearance will begin displaying that which is pleasing to Him. Our bodies are the temple. If the temple is so unhealthy as to keep us from walking across the street to share Christ or has been “decorated” to such an extent to repel those who would be our audience, then perhaps the cover needs to be adjusted. We will also need to remember that not everyone can be everything to every audience.
The cover you “wear” will continue to change through the years. Your peers and those in your sphere of influence will watch. Think for a moment the covers you have displayed thus far. Teenager? Athlete? Student? Performer? Boy friend? Girl friend? Husband? Wife? Leader? Outdoorsman? Homemaker? Grandparent? In every and all circumstances we should be able to display an appearance that would bring honor to Christ. What Does a Christian wear? How tall is a Christian? Does a believer wear classes or contacts or have perfect vision? Does a believer limp? Would a follower of Christ be missing an arm or leg?
Do not be discouraged believer! You have been saved for a purpose. If you seek to honor and serve the Lord then you will have the wisdom and understanding to know what will be displayed on the cover. And that cover will prayerfully be an example of the creative, saving power of the God of Heaven. Enjoy the creative blessings of the Lord. Allow Him to make you strong in your weakness. He is our sufficiency.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, everything becomes new. What a great opportunity the Lord gives us to be something better than a revised edition of the same ole story! We become a whole new book with a new title! Do not be discouraged, others will see this and be amazed. It happened numerous times in Scripture when God took someone with unflattering characteristics and adjectives in their title and produced a whole new work. Some of those: Gideon was the least of his clan and yet God used him to lead Israel to victory over the Philistines. The disciples were mostly uneducated non-professionals who turned the world upside down. Paul was being used to destroy the Way and became the most prolific evangelist the world has ever known. When Christ takes hold of the character, the pages and covers are erased and the new story begins.
Friend, God has done something incredible in your life. He has begun a new work. You may even consider your title yet to be written, which is fine. Every believer has a temporary title until then. Here are a few suggestions: Friend of Jesus, Child of God, Pardoned, Servant of the Most High God. As we age in our faith and begin growth in our spiritual giftedness, those titles will change to reflect how we serve the Lord and others. Those around us begin to understand who we have become and what to expect. You may already have a few “favorite titles” you could read over and over or even suggest to someone else. Perhaps your favorite titles are those who are encouragers, or those with strong faith, or those with a strong marriage, or those that stimulate you for greater service and discipleship.
The issue at hand is the characteristics of God in you that you want others to see. We are no longer bound by our past. There is a wonderful passage from 1 Corinthians 6:11 that reminds us “Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The old title is in verse 10; the new title is in 11. And if we have become a whole new book, then as we are being written for others to read, glorify God in the pages. (1 Corinthians 6:20)