Branded

Yes, the truth is that Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven.  But he is standing with his arms wide open to everyone.  His gift of grace is available to all, no exceptions.

The Old Testament is mainly focused on the history of God’s chosen people – the Israelites who became the Jews.  Yet, even in the beginning of the Old Testament, we see evidence of God’s ultimate plan to offer salvation to everyone.  God directs Abraham to circumcise all males in his household, “including those born in your household and bought with your money.” (slaves). “It will be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” God explained. Genesis 17:13

God’s promise to Abraham was that he would bless him and ‘greatly increase your numbers.’   God promised to make Abraham fruitful.  God promised that he would have a unique relationship with Abraham and all of Abraham’s descendants for the generations to come.

This circumcision sign was not limited to Abraham’s blood relatives.  I can imagine that Abraham had male slaves of all sizes and shapes and colors and God clearly indicated that they all had a part in his promise.

They didn’t know but God knew that he was sending his son, Jesus, to save all people who would put their faith in him.  And those people would become Abraham’s children by faith – Children of the Promise.  I’m one of those people and so are you if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior.

On a related note – some women get all itchy about ‘men’ being specifically talked to in the Bible.  I’m a female but I’m clear about how God feels about me and I know God is speaking to me, even when the Bible says ‘men’.  I usually substitute ‘mankind’ in my head.  It’s also clear in the New Testament how Jesus respects and appreciates and loves the women in his life.  There’s nothing to get itchy about.

On the subject of circumcision which seems like a totally male thing, God tells us through the Paul in the second chapter of Romans that what God is looking for is an internal circumcision of the spiritual heart of the person who believes.  This circumcision of the heart means we are cut out from the world to love and serve the One True God.

All believers – male and female.

Branded by a heart sold out to God.

Thank you for your gift of grace which is offered to everyone, Abba Father.