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“And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

In your baptism, you were marked with the cross of Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit as Christ’s own forever.  The devil always mocks the Lord.  Of course, he wants his own mark.  When the devil has your hand and mind, he’s got you.  The Lord wants all of you, heart, soul, mind, and all that you do, knowing that whatever you do, is done as though serving the Lord.  But the day will come when the tyrant is allowed to rule.

Lord, it has happened before and it seems that each new batch of tyrants gets worse.  Tyrants, dictators, and those who deem themselves superior tell others how to live and what to do.  Guide me away from this nonsense so that I live according to the goodness of Your grace and mercy.  Lead me, Lord, amidst all the tyrannies of this world to be faithful.

Lord Jesus, You had Rome, Herod, and the corrupt leaders of Judea to contend with.  You understand the sinful leadership that lives in lavish ways while the petty people work hard just to stay alive.  No matter my complaints, turn my eyes to You and Your example, Lord, so that I may humbly walk in the way of faith.  I have been marked by You as a sign of the truth of the salvation I have in You.  Keep me in You always.  Amen.