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.

 

 

Circumcism of the Heart

God is not impressed by what I look like on the outside.

He looks inside – at my heart.

What do I really care about?

What are the things that break my heart?  Do I get upset over petty things other people say and do?  Do I spend my time worrying and fretting over all the things I have no control over?

Or is my heart broken for the poor and lost people in my world?

Is my heart concerned about injustice and the mass confusion which defines our culture?  Is my heart focused on God’s direct command to care for orphans and widows?

Do I care about the things God cares about?

That’s what he’s hoping to see when he looks at my heart.

When my heart is circumcised like God describes in Jeremiah 9, I can turn away from my self-centered existence and live out God’s calling on my life.  God cuts away the part of my heart that is hard and stubborn and rebellious – the part that separates me from having a heart like his.

When my heart is circumcised, the change begins on the inside and eventually shows on the outside.  The transformation of my heart is a miracle that only God can perform.

How does it happen?

Loving God and loving others.  The two great commandments.

I want these to be my top two priorities.

What are your top two priorities?

We love you, Abba Father.

Our Hearts

Our desire is for you to circumcise our hearts, dear Father.July 26 2014 our hearts

Please help us cut away the parts that only focus on ourselves – the selfishness and immaturity.

Take away the sections that care so much about the ‘things’ of this world.  They distract us from you.

Please help us get rid of the areas that are filled with worthless guilt and regrets which weigh us down.  You forgave and forgot about those many years ago when we confessed them the first time.

Please tear away the dark parts so our light for you can shine brighter.

Cut out the judgemental part of our heart and replace it with love for others.

We pray for a new heart that is soft and wide-open to you, dear Father.  We thank you because we know this is also what you want for us, so it will happen when we faithfully stay in this journey.

One day at a time.

On our way to you, dear Father.