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Summer Devotional and Sermon Series

Week 5/Heroes: Abraham

Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. It was Abraham placing himself under the rule of the Lord as his King, consecrating himself, his offspring and all he possessed to the service of the Lord. In the New Testament, Paul relieves the Gentiles of this burden, referring to the “circumcision of the heart.” Peter says, “In your hearts, set Christ apart as Lord.” Circumcision is about who is in charge. But why did this sign have to be circumcision? Couldn’t it have been something else? Here’s a possible answer. (“Possible” meaning my answer.) 

In Genesis 16, Abram and Sarai try to take things into their own hands and Abram sleeps with Hagar, Sarai’s maidservant, who bears him the son Ishmael (This was Sarai’s idea.) The Bible then “fades to black” and fast forwards thirteen years later to Genesis 17.  God gives circumcision. Ishmael will not be the son of the blessing. The blessing will come from Abram’s WIFE. AND IF ANYONE FORGETS THAT all they have to do is look down. The Lord is King. Not you. Ishmael was still loved by God but he would not carry the blessing.

 

We live in a day and age where a lot of people think they can do anything they want. Sleep with whomever and God will be happy about it or at least sweep it under the rug. The favorite Bible verse is no longer, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). The new favorite is ““Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1). We often neglect Matthew 7:2, “ For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” This verse means that before you evaluate someone else’s behavior, evaluate your own. 

How do we evaluate? According to God’s Word. Outward circumcision is submitting to the King. Inward circumcision of the heart also submits to the King. I am not in charge of my body. My body was redeemed. It has been paid for at the price of Jesus’ life. I don’t belong to me. I belong to Jesus. Jesus challenges us, as his saved by grace children, to strive to be perfect in all our dealings, which includes our sexuality (Read Matthew 5-7). If we haven’t been perfect, we repent, receive forgiveness, and start again.

Scripture

Genesis 17:1-27, Romans 2:29

Prayer

Father, we forget so often that you are King. We act as if the only who matters is ourselves and we get mad at you for not blessing us even though our lives wander outside your protection. You have been clear where life is safe and it is not.  Forgive us. Lead us back the path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.