Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Romans 2:28-29 Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.

There’s been a lot of talk about Bruce Jenner going under the knife to become a woman. He says he’s felt like a woman trapped in a man’s body. As a man he won gold medals in the Olympics, fathered children, and made an impact in the world but in his twilight years he wants to make a change through surgery. Something is going on in Bruce’s heart that doesn’t require a knife it requires change.

We can debate about Bruce’s choice and both sides Christian and non-Christian could come up with reasons why it’s right and why it’s wrong. The purpose of this devotion is to put the importance of change in our hearts and not our bodies. There are many people who go under the knife to change something they don’t like but it’s not until you have a change of heart that the knife means anything. You can keep cutting but never be satisfied if your heart is not healed.

The Jews would cut themselves through the ritual of circumcision to show that they were in covenant with God. But through the years the cutting became a cultural ritual without any heart change. It didn’t bring people closer to God. As Jesus told circumcised listeners, “you say you love God with your lips but your heart is far from him.”

1. It’s better not to be circumcised and keep God’s law than to be circumcised and not keep it. Why cut yourself and lose yourself? Cutting yourself doesn’t get you any closer to who you are in Christ if you don’t know who you are in him. In God we move, live and have our being. Without the knowledge of God we keep cutting until there is nothing left.

2.  Obedience is better than sacrifice. Keeping God’s word is better than cutting away skin. It’s not until we realize how much God loves us that we can truly love ourselves.

3.  We need to circumcise our hearts. It’s the issues of the heart that make us feel like altering our outer. But if we have not dealt with the inner transformation no amount of surgery will make us happy. The Holy Spirit is the greatest surgeon. He can change you from the inside out and not leave any scars. The Holy Spirit can make you into the image of God and give you the mind of Christ. The old folks used to say, “I looked at my feet and they looked new. I looked at my hands and they did too, oh what a wonderful change has come over me…and no knife!”

Dear God,

Change me from the inside out. Cut away any kind of insecurity or grief on the inside that would make me change who you created me to be on the outside. I want to be who you created me to be and be happy with that person. While I was in my mother’s womb you created me beautiful with my perfect imperfections. I love who you made me to be. Now make me love your word. Your word is sharper than any scalpel.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Lord, change my heart and everything else looks right.

In Jesus Name,

Amen