January 23, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 17

Circumcision was introduced for the very first time in Genesis 17. It will be mentioned several times after and was very important to God’s people. God made a covenant with Abram and promised him that he would give him a great legacy of children in God’s family. He then said that circumcision will be the sign of this covenant and will set them apart from the rest of the world as God’s special, sacred and holy people for His own use and purpose.

It was important for others to see that God’s people were different then the rest of the world, just like it’s important for others to see how Christians are different than the rest of the world today. We should speak different, act different, live different and look different than the rest of the world. However, that starts in the heart. Otherwise it’s simply behavior modification and won’t last. That actual heart change is what God wanted to get to when introducing circumcision in Genesis 17. Just like Israel had a sign to show that the were sanctified by God, we have a spiritual circumcision of the heart to show that we are saved and sanctified through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and resurrection from death.

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ

Colossians 2:11

But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Romans 2:29

Questions for Reflection:

  • If circumcision of the heart is a sign of the different, changed life we receive in Christ, have others around you noticed the differences in your life?
  • Does obedience to God come from your changed heart or legalism?

By: Erik Koliser

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

6 thoughts on “January 23, 2016”

  1. Thanks again Erik. Completely agree, and good reminder that we as Christians have a higher purpose than the world to glorify God. Put Him first, as you said in our hearts.

    I confess, and you alluded to this, I’m not always perfect. And when I fail to see the bigger picture or even lose grip on that fact, is when I am the most vulnerable. God wanted all of Abraham just like he wants all of us.

    It’s also a good reminder reading these jump starts to see the great and candid interactions between God and Abraham.

  2. Thanks Erik! As I learn more and more what it means to live as a Christian, I really appreciate the distinction you made between heart change and legalism. I think that’s one reason why so many Christians fall away from the faith. Without a true change of heart, a legalistic way of living becomes overwhelming and meaningless.

  3. Some wisdom that pops out of this chapter today…

    (V.9) And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant,” Despite repeated disobedience by the patriarchs and the nation, God’s faithfulness to his covenant commitment never wavered.

    (V.17) Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed …And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” How absurd God’s plans appear to me and to you many times! How often has my praise of the Lord’s wisdom been marked with doubt? (James 1:5-8). Our Lord is patient and yet firm in His rejection of our proposed solutions to a promise given. How spiritually refreshing has it been when we understand firsthand that His ways are so much higher than our ways?

  4. Notice that Abraham followed God’s instructions on circumcision “on that very day”. Good reminder for us to follow His instructions when we are told, not whenever we feel like it.

    Also, did anyone else notice that Abraham and Sarah both had the same initial reaction to God’s promise of Isaac? They both laughed and they both doubted. I never caught that until today.

  5. Thanks CPC for another great week of jumpstart. All the discussions we had at our connect group, and comments here on jump start. All about what we are putting our faith in, are we really trusting God for everything no matter what our circumstances.
    This has made me really search my heart, research the word. Erik you are so right, all this is, where dose my heart ly. Oh my I so want my heart to belong to my heavenly father and His and only His ways. Oh please God help me, you know my heart, please help me to strive everyday to be like Jesus, oh how I want that. In Jesus name a-men.

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