Circumcision of the heart…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Joshua 5:1-7

 

As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.

 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.”

 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.

 And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt.

 Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.

 For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD; the LORD swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

 So it was their children, whom he raised up in their place, that Joshua circumcised. For they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.

 

 

Circumcision, the physical mark of God’s touch in our life, a sign given to remind us of a promise, is evident in the genuine believer who has begun to follow Christ. For us it is a circumcision of the heart, mind, will and emotions. It is a sign that we follow Christ.

 

[Rom 2:29 KJV] 29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

 

It is the Holy Spirit’s cutting away the lusts of the flesh – that would be selfish desires. We no longer follow our own agenda in life, it has been replaced with God’s. Before entering our ‘promised land,’ a life of abundance as Christ promised,

 

[Jhn 10:10 KJV] 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

 

we give up everything including our will and desires. Christ says those who give up all to follow Him will gain all.

 

[Mar 8:35 KJV] 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

 

It is an exchange; our way for His way and the result is an abundant life. That would be more life than we need. Can we bless His name?

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Leave all…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Joshua 3:9-17

 

 And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.”

 And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan.

 Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man.

 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”

 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,

 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),

 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.

 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

 

They left their tents and followed. We are also asked to leave all and follow. Sometimes it means leaving what has been provided; shelter and security, warmth and privacy. We are left vulnerable, totally dependent upon the Lord of the earth. He provides all we have need of as we follow Him. Let us not stray to the right or left but follow where He leads. For in Him is all we need today, tomorrow, forever.

 

Much is made of the fact that God went before and when God goes before us, wondrous things happen. Note they left all behind to follow Him. The same expectation is required of us when we determine to answer the call of Jesus His Son, to follow Him. Not only leaving our ‘tents’ as in earthly things but also our ‘tents’ as in our self – all that is us – mind, will, emotions. We too, willingly become vulnerable to what could be, trusting in the Lord to keep, provide, and lead. Going into our ‘promised land’ can take us through some wondrous events also as we see the Presence of God going before us, defeating our enemy.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Expressions of love…

John 21:15-25

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

 Expressions of love; do you love me, yes I do, feed my sheep, follow me.  Jesus was denied three times.  Three times Peter said he was not a follower of Jesus.  Now three times Jesus asks, not ‘are you my follower?’ but ‘do you love me?’.  Three times Peter affirms his love.  Each time he affirms that Jesus knows this and he acknowledges hurt by the third question.  Three times Jesus gives a responsibility finally stating, ‘follow me.’  It is not enough to acknowledge him, to express a love for him, Jesus requires a responsibility and gives a command; “Follow me.”  We express our love for him; do we also accept the responsibility he gives and do we follow?  Follow  implies we need to know where he leads, what he wants.  When we play ‘Follow the leader’ as children, we mimic the leader.  We go where he or she goes and do exactly as they do.  Follow me indicates we will know Him, mimic Him that is, do as he does, and go where he goes.  Feed my sheep…Jesus said he was the Good Shepherd.  As we follow Him, we do the task of the shepherd, care for the sheep, feed the sheep and lambs.  Take them to pasture, to still waters, give them rest, all  to be found in Christ. Pray for them, feed them from the Word of God, lead them to the Bread of Life.  Share what we receive from the Lord and those He knows will recognize His voice and come.