Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010 – July 28 – The Ins and Outs of Faith

Study from God’s Word Jeremiah, Chapters 7 – 9 … Passage for Reflection: Jeremiah 9: 25 – 26 … NIV 25 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh - 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."

My Journal for Today: Interesting, … almost fun, … that my devotional Pastor, Dr. Smith, begin his study today, from Jeremiah 9 by making reference to belly buttons, noting that there are “innies” and “outies,” which, of course, are created by how the umbilical cord is separated from the body at birth. But we know that it makes no difference in life whether we have an “innie” or an “outie,” does it?

But in the times of Jeremiah, and for all of ancient Israel/Judah, there was a physical mark which meant almost everything to the male Jew; and that, of course, was circumcision. For any Jewish man to be “Jewish,” he had to have had the foreskin of his maleness removed. It was to be the physical mark of The Old Covenant. Now, in the New Covenant times in which we live, we have the sign of Baptism to indicate our outward declaration of being sealed by Christ in His New Covenant where a true believer is sealed for eternity inwardly as well as outwardly. To be baptized as a repentant and born-again believer is the outward sign of the inward newness of God’s Spirit sealing our soul for an eternity with Christ. To be baptized outwardly, with no real repentance, is to become a very wet, but unredeemed, sinner.

So, today as in the days of Jeremiah, one could be circumcised outwardly and even physically but not have a “circumcision of the heart.” There were many in the house of Israel in those days who had the outward mark of their declared faith but they did not carry it inwardly in the heart. Today we have many who outwardly call themselves “christian,” yet inwardly they do not possess the real faith in Jesus that will one day, in glory, allow Jesus to declare, “Well done, my faithful servant.”

Oh how I pray that any who read this have both an “innie” and an “outie” faith, being able to declare their allegiance to Christ but living out that faith by the way their lives worship their Lord. When we, as Christians, were baptized, did it really signify the reality of a “circumcision of the heart?” I will pray today that it did.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, You know that my heart is outwardly – and INWARDLY – given over to You. I pray it be so for any who read this. Amen

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