By Dr. Jack R. Hodges, Jr.
The Lord God called Abram to a special relationship and a special purpose. In Genesis 12:1-3, we hear that covenant calling, “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you into a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (NASB)
Skip Heitzig, a popular pastor, teacher, and radio preacher recently wrote an excellent book that also has an eye-catching cover. On the front cover of the book, there is a huge fingerprint printed in red that is centered on the cover and surrounded by two other huge uppercase letters. G on the left and D on the right. Of course, the fingerprint represented the letter O and together they spell GOD. Underneath was written PRINT. The name of the book is Godprint: Making Your Mark for Christ.
In thinking about our own unique call from God to a special relationship and purpose, I have come across many Christians who are confused about that calling and what it means. It reminds me of a young man who was sad, confused, and perplexed about seeing his dad, who claimed to be a Christian acting one way when he was around church folks and completely different when he was outside of that setting. Controlled by anger, rage, confusion, and fear, the dad would fly into cursing fits when the pressure mounted at home and work. He was often consumed by his rage and took it out on anyone and everyone around him. The son confronted him one day and challenged him, “Why are you acting this way? I thought you were a Christian!” The father snorted back, “I’m saved, forgiven, and on my way to heaven! It doesn’t matter what I do and how I act!”
Clearly, he got the first part right! By faith, he had placed his trust in God’s plan to save him from his sins. He had trusted in Jesus—and the moment that he confessed with his mouth that Jesus was the Son of God, and invited the Lord to be his Savior—God did what He promised He would do! He applied the blood of Jesus toward all payments that were due because of sin. God laid claim to the dad’s soul and prepared for him a place in heaven. The first truth is that God frees us from the penalty of sin and death by merit of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. We are set free!
But the reality of faith begs that we ask several important questions. The first question we must ask is, “Set free from what?” The answer is from the eternal separation from our creator God that was created by our sin.
The second important question that we must ask (but is all too often seldom asked) is, “Set free to do what?” Most Christians understand the first part. However, many Christians misunderstand the second part of God’s plans and purposes. Here is God’s truth and plan for each one of us—we have been set free from sin and death so that we are free to choose TO LIVE FOR GOD! God didn’t save us so that we would live for ourselves (although we are certainly free to choose to do that). Our choices matter! Your choices matter! What we do, how we act, how we treat others, and how we live our lives does matter. It matters to our loved ones. It matters to those around us. And it matters to God. Our choices are critical and crucial to the plans and purposes of God. We, whom He had claimed as His spiritual children, are invited into a special relationship with Him. We have been adopted as spiritual sons and daughters of the Most High God. And in that special relationship, now unimpeded by the penalty of sin and rebellion, we are called, commanded, and commissioned to live for Him! As Heitzig suggests, we are called to leave a “Godprint” on this world.
“A Christian leaves a Godprint whenever he or she, by the power of the Holy Spirit, positively influences the world for the cause of Christ…[and] every Christian has the opportunity to leave a lasting, God-centered, positive impression upon the Earth,” insists Heitzig.
In fact, each of us does indeed leave evidence of our presence and activity in this world. A carbon footprint is an ecological impression each person makes upon the natural world and our planet, for good or for ill, a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment and upon the lives of our fellow citizens.
The concept raises an interesting question for Christians. Are we supposed to leave some kind of mark? Should we care about the impression we leave? Should we be concerned with our spiritual footprint? Our legacy? Our impact? Of course, we should! That’s why God called us to salvation and then called us to live for Him.
Heitzig continues, “While I firmly believe we should be good stewards of God’s good creation, I think we should have a far greater interest in something more than reducing our carbon footprint. This something is what I call a “Godprint.” A Christian leaves a Godprint, a living testimony whenever he or she, by the power of the Holy Spirit, leaves a God blessing upon this world. God informed Abram, you will be blessed as you obediently go “to the land which I will show you” and leave the unmistakable evidence of my presence and love. The gospel writers gave evidence of God’s love revealed in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
And so must you and I leave Godprints wherever we go. What a great idea! What a great opportunity? What a fantastic, wonderful journey God has sent us on—to leave Godprints all over this world. Everywhere we go. Everyone we meet. We are touching them and leaving beautiful fingerprints of God all over them. Would you do that today for His honor and glory? Blessings and peace, Pastor Jack.
Dr. Jack Hodges is the Senior Pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. He has served as a pastor, a biblical counselor, and an International Mission Board missionary.