Branded to Christ, the Maker’s Mark

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
Philippians 3:10‭-‬12, AMP (Classic)

Life in Christ starts exclusively relational for a season and a reason.

It’s a lazy river where nothing really matters outside of this new inexpressible joy in Christ, but there are transactions involved as you grow.

It would scare most people off if they knew everything it demands.

That’s why Jesus said, “follow me” and nothing much else to the 12. He hasn’t changed the playbook either. He communicated to them early on His I-AM-ness. He will always be there because I AM is always present.

Like the responsible older brother, I AM always gets up first because He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t speak first to us because I AM is preoccupied with His Father showing us the secret of our working worship: fellowship with I AM.

He sends us to the University of humility because I AM identities with compassion and fellowships with the poor. He makes Himself known to those who are spirit poor and who abandon themselves to loving prayer.

As we grow in Christ, we get to the all-in branding question. There’s a sit down moment where He’ll look dead eye across the table asking, “are you in, or not?” Will you receive the I AM brand, which is the covenant by His blood.

To say NO would be unthinkable because this is THE invitation into the resurrected life. Sadly, many turn away even after walking with Him for years.

Jesus turned to the 12 when many walked out after He explained the true nature of the brand, saying, “Will ye also go away?”, in John 6:67.

It is overwhelming getting to know Him and receiving His mark, but the joy accompanying it eclipses all other loves. I AM sustains the often broken hearted with a growing scale of loving companionship.


There is nothing better than being loved by God so much so, you sense being a 10 year old grandson who gets invited to go to the store again just to tag along with granddad.

Graduating into this branded work of God is a serious call. Gifts and callings He gives are given are without repentance. God is immutable and cannot change or “repent or turn” on His own binding word.

He invites novice sheep stealing ranch hands into (and back into) His kingdom but He will not abide if He isn’t welcome.

Yellowstone hit me hard when Jimmy got his branding in the first season.

Ashley Marie of talks about the Yellowstone brand saying it, “…stands for trust and honor. To wear the brand, you must first understand its weight, which is as heavy as it is painful. To be branded doesn’t merely permanently burn a mark in your skin; it’s physically traumatizing — and maybe even mentally too — but the ranch hands are willing to embrace it. 

God calls us back to the ranch even after deserting, courting the enemy, indulgence or blasphemy. It is by far the most painful thing ever experienced, but it is a hot iron on the devoted sons and daughters flesh. It is only through this a kingdom is revealed which perishes, spoils or fades.

Remember that kid in 6th grade who would trade a full size Kit Kat for your apple? What a bargain, right? Jesus, in essence, offers to trade His faith for ours.

“Want to trade your hot mess for my spotless righteousness?”

The world makes you drink the spirits of fear which supports creating dependents. Slaves, not property owning kings and priests branded by the maker’s mark.

Not Whiskey but with HisKey.


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