Article From the Magazine:

Pressing Matters

By David Jeremiah

Donald Smith was arrested in Gwinnett County, Georgia, for crimes committed in 2008 against a local elementary school teacher. Smith matched witness descriptions, appeared to be identifiable on nearby surveillance camera footage, and DNA evidence seemed to place him near the scene of the crimes.

One problem: Donald Smith swore he had not committed the crimes but that his identical twin brother, Ronald Smith, had. And he was right. As investigators dug into the evidence, they discovered fingerprints at the scene belonging not to Donald Smith but to his twin brother, Ronald. Even though the twins shared identical DNA, their fingerprints were different. In this case—the necessity to distinguish between twins who shared DNA—it was a technology more than 100 years old that proved conclusive.

While the forensic use of fingerprints is a relatively recent development, fingerprints have been found in ancient ruins thousands of years old—especially in clay. Fingerprints were used by potters to mark their wares and used as “signatures” on clay tablets for commercial purposes. Buried by the sands of time, such fingerprints remained indelible until they were uncovered by archaeologists.

As impressive as the longevity of human fingerprints are, there is a different kind of fingerprint that will last even longer—for eternity! Physical fingerprints left in this world can be marred, even erased; their permanence is not guaranteed. But the fingerprints we’ll talk about in this month’s Turning Points can reverberate through the halls of heaven forever.

The kind of fingerprints we’ll talk about are those you leave in your service to Christ and His kingdom—fingerprints whose impact will be revealed in heaven. Just as physical fingerprints are unique to each individual, the people and causes you touch for Christ in this life will be unique to you. No one has your physical fingerprints; neither can anyone leave the mark on this world that you can. No one else has your gifts and abilities; no one has your calling; no one has the specific mix of friends and family that you have. And most importantly, no one will receive the guidance from the Holy Spirit that you will receive in terms of touching this world.

After reading this issue, I pray you will have a renewed sense of your uniqueness in God’s kingdom. I hope you will have a fresh perspective on all the places you are leaving, and can leave, your spiritual fingerprints. I trust you will begin to see every person, every place, every circumstance, every event, as an opportunity to let others know that “God was here.”

When a friend of mine was a young seminary student, he found himself in a hospital emergency room in Dallas on a pastoral assignment. A distraught woman was brought into the ER with self-inflicted wounds on her wrists, and he did his best to comfort her and encourage her with biblical promises of God’s love. Suddenly, she looked up at him and asked, “Are you Jesus?”

He wasn’t, of course—but wait. He was! In that moment, he was leaving the fingerprints of Christ on that woman’s life as he held her hand and comforted her. Just as Jesus left His eternal physical and spiritual fingerprints throughout Galilee and Judea for three years, we have been commissioned to leave the imprints of His love on this world in His stead. Our fingerprints are His as we serve and love others in His Name. And just as the words and works of Christ will have eternal ramifications, our fingerprints will leave an eternal imprint as well. Such is the amazing mission that Jesus has given us until He returns.

How do we leave our fingerprints in this world in an eternal way? By reaching out and touching, changing, loving, and encouraging those we encounter in this world. When we leave the presence of those we touch, let us leave behind an imprint of the love of God in Christ. Let us leave behind an indelible mark that people will never forget—a mark that, though unseen physically, will remain for eternity.

God has called us to “pressing matters.” Let us examine the ways we can leave God’s imprint on the world through our hands of loving service. 

This article was first published in Turning Points Magazine & Devotional.
Learn more about the magazine and request your free copies today!

  • Just as physical fingerprints are unique to each individual, the people and causes you touch for Christ in this life will be unique to you.

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  • see every person, every place, every circumstance, every event, as an opportunity to let others know that “God was here.”

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