Daily Thoughts : February 11th
Rom 2:29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.
There is always a great deal of difference between what we think and what is reality. For the Jews, they so often thought they were all right and yet were at complete odds with God. They typified the rest of the human race and sin expressed itself in them and they got it wrong. God gave them lots of guidance and help in their formative years and yet still they so often missed the point – just like we do!
For instance the Lord had given the men the ritual of circumcision, which required that on the eighth days of its life, a child was ceremonially joined to God's people by the removal of the foreskin. It was a sign or reminder of what should have been the reality. The reality that God wanted was that their relationship with the Lord was a genuine thing, a heart thing and not something they expressed only by ritual. Sadly, so often it was obvious that it wasn't that reality. There wasn't a heart commitment to God and their acts of piety were religiosity, a pretence.
Look, says Paul, being a Jew, or being a man or woman of God, is all about what you're like on the inside. It's whether your heart has been cut free from sin (or sin cut away from your heart) so that the relationship you have with God is a real heart experience and not merely something you do by way of a performance, whether it be once a life or many times. Where is your heart with God? Are we still trying to impress God like some of the early Jewish Christians fell back to doing in Galatia? Do we think by 'doing things' we impress Him? Going to church? Going to meetings? Being religious, being charitable? That was what Old Testament Jews did and so when they failed, as they did so often, they were filled with guilt and fear and both those things prevent a relationship of love with God. He's done it all for us. All we can do is receive His love and rejoice in it. THAT impresses Him!
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