Do you think of yourself as a Jew? I do. Today's devotional from one of my favorite books of the Bible reveals how God's Spirit defines a Hebrew in truth. Here's the fabulous scripture from Romans 2:29:
"...but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God."
What's not to love about that, y'all? To me that means because of the faith I have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Patriarchs of old are actually my family! They are my great-great-great (and a thousand more greats) grand-daddies and grand-mamas being discussed, mulled over, celebrated, and remembered. Because of the condition of my heart which God has secured to His cause by His power and eternal Godhead, Abraham is also my forefather! I am a daughter of Zion and made to inherit all things by Christ Jesus' Blood, my faith in it, and total acceptance of Abba's redemptive plan. Yeeehaawww! THAT'S something to shout about, kids!
Maker of My Heart
It also means that my heart is subject to Abba's directives and desires, and that circumcision of the things of the heart are foremost on His list in cleansing and restoration of my life - our lives. Praising God, worshiping Him, obeying Him, and loving Him are all heart-relational states. He's targeting our hearts for purification, cleansing, miracle transformation, and surgery, friends, to cut away that which contributes to confusion and pain, hurt and wounding, and sin. Jesus is in charge of carrying out all that Abba has orchestrated and created in His coffers for our reconciliation, rejuvenation, deliverance, and utmost healing to be restored to the state of innocence and purity we held in the Garden of Eden when mankind laid, fully formed, a perfect fit for fellowship with God.
Not in the Letter
And our transformation has nothing to do with any good we have done or could ever do; it has nothing to do with keeping the law or its requirements of our own strength or ability to memorize or execute. No, sir... being a Jew by God's definition - part of the Family of Christ - has all to do with recognizing and accepting His work by the Spirit of God within us, remembering that Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of Christ. He is the Spirit of Truth, and Christ is Truth. Since "deep calls unto deep", it is the Spirit of God actually calling to Himself within us when our hearts are circumcised by His design; and He recognizes the call and answers it with blessing, and with praise. Praise from Almighty God is everything, my dear beloved... EVERYTHING. His blessing, His approval, His everlasting JOY and love are all we will ever need for life and Godliness, sealing us in the realms of His redemptive power forevermore and, through obedience, abiding always in the eternal Family of God. Amen.
(Originally published April 4, 2013)