Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Giving (Part 2)
I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.
Amos 5:21 (NIV)
These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.
Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)
Circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Romans 2:29 (NASB)
Have you noticed all the talk about circumcision in Paul's Letters? Frankly, it bothered me. I couldn't understand its significance. In the Old Testament, it was a physical sign of the Covenant between God, Abraham and his descendants.*
By it, an outer layer of skin is removed from a man's most private part. It's not readily apparent, but when all is seen, the sign of the Covenant is there. During the Nazi Holocaust, Jews were strip searched to confirm their heritage. Today, circumcision is debated. Medically, it's useless. Culturally, it's practiced.
In Both Testaments, God's told His people their hearts must be circumcised.** Physically, it's impossible. Spiritually, it's essential. A circumcised heart is a tenderized heart; its rigid beat is replaced by a loving anthem.
Upon self-examination, I see many days and times when I walk to a rigid beat: not stopping to love others, not pausing to hear from God, not changing my to-do list, nor giving tender mercies. I'm sad to say, I see in myself religiosity: following rule-ish guidelines while ignoring God's main Line: LOVE!
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider two hard gives:
1) Give up religiosity. Don't depend on church customs or Hollywood lifestyles to get you where you want to go. Success in our world can be useful, and I believe you will receive it. But success in God's world is crucial. Open heart surgery is needed, and only God's Spirit can do it. If you're not sure your heart is tender, request His operation today.
2) Give up your worldly agendas. Please note: I didn't say to give up on your dreams, just your own plans on how to achieve them, including their proper time to arrive. We can't out-think, out-plan or out-give God. The Bible is filled with heroes who prayed, worked hard and waited on their destinies, which happened in the most unlikely ways.
AMTC is proof.
To Be Continued...
* Circumcision was given as a physical sign of God's Covenant with His people: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis+17&version=NKJV
** Short article on circumcision of the heart: http://www.gotquestions.org/circumcision-of-the-heart.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Giving series.