God’s Covenant with Abraham (continued)Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
"This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised."
Circumcision was a common practice among people in the Ancient Near East, often as a rite of passage for young men in puberty. We don't know exactly why God chose circumcision as the visual sign of Abraham's covenantal faithfulness. Surely it requires a significant commitment on the part of the adult male being circumcised. And it is something that remains for a lifetime.
In the New Covenant, baptism takes the place of circumcision, thus allowing all people, male and female, to participate in this sign of the covenant (Col. 2:11-12). Yet the physical reality of baptism represents the more important cleansing and renewal of the heart, which Paul refers to as "circumcision of the heart" (see Rom. 2:27-29). What matters most isn't what happens to us on the outside, but whether God has touched and transformed our hearts, so that we might live as new people for him.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Has God ever asked you to do something that was very hard and scary? What was it? What did you do? What is the state of your heart today?
PRAYER: Gracious Lord, I have indeed been baptized as a sign of my participation in the new covenant. But, I wonder, when you peer inside me, what is the state of my heart? Do you see a heart being renewed? Or do you see a heart hardening to the work of your Spirit?
Dear Lord, I long to be continually renewed by you. So I offer you my heart today. Do your cleansing, healing, transforming work in me. Help me to live for you, Lord, from the inside out. May I be a person of your new covenant all day: at home and at work, with my friends and with my colleagues, in meetings and in prayer, for your glory. Amen.