Author: Larry Ely (Student Ministries)
Every tattoo tells a story: some good, some bad, and some funny. Some tattoos were just a big mistake, but others have profound meaning and purpose behind them. In some circles, getting a tattoo can seem rebellious or unholy, but people get tattoos for all kinds of reasons. Often times, people get a tattoo to symbolize something, to remember something, or even to honor someone. Tattoos come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. The location and message varies from subtle and discrete to loud and proud.
Do you have a tattoo? Have you thought about getting one? Maybe you have dozens of them and are planning for the next one. I have been thinking about getting one to honor some special family members in my life. I have not pulled the trigger yet to do it, but I have friends who have.
I have three friends in particular that each wanted to express their faith through body art. All three of them got a custom cross of some kind. The first one got a black medium size rugged cross between his shoulder blades to remind him of Jesus’ sacrifice and to carry his cross daily. My second friend drew his own intricate design of a gothic black cross with a red colorful heart in the center and a flowing banner that wrapped around it. He had it tattooed on his forearm as a personal reminder of God’s love. My third friend went all out. He had a large detailed tattoo of Jesus with a crown of thorns on His head carrying a rough wooden cross. It was a multi-stage tattoo across his back with a tomb and rocks in the background. It was a bold expression of his faith.
My friends all have different backgrounds and different reasons for getting their tattoos, but they share a common story: the story of God’s love, our rebellion, Jesus’ sacrifice, and our faith. So in case you have not heard the story of God’s love and our salvation or need reminded of the story, here it is in simple terms: you can be forgiven and begin a personal relationship with Jesus by following these four words.
LOVE * REBELLION * SACRIFICE * FAITH
- God’s LOVE: He loves you (John 3:16)
- Our REBELLION: We all sin and mess up (Romans 3:23)
- Jesus’ SACRIFICE: He died on the cross for your sins & rose again (Romans 5:8)
- Our FAITH: We believe and ask Him to forgive us (1 John 1:9)
LOVE: “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
REBELLION: “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
SACRIFICE: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
FAITH: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
PRAYER OF FAITH:
God, thank you for your love.
Forgive me for my rebellion and sin.
I accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for my sin.
I believe and put my faith in you today.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9
Text: © 2020 Amplify Ministries * Image of man praying: google free use license
*Special Tribute to A.Z. – Thanks for your big heart to help people. You will be missed.