God's Holy Fire: 'A Matter of the Heart'

Thursday, April 5, 2018

For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
— Romans 2:28-29 ESV

Key Thought

Prejudice is ungodly. It is a divisive stain fueled by the powers of hell. To view people based on their ethnicity, their skin color, their tribe, their language, their culture, their education, or their status is to remain trapped in the sin-dominated world that Satan inflicted on us after the fall. Jesus came to tear down the walls that separate people from each other and to bring us together, through the Holy Spirit, into one new body — his body, the church — where he animates and empowers us through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-22). So our identity is not determined by our skin color but by the presence of God's Spirit. We are the cleansed and claimed people of God — spiritually "circumcised" — by the Holy Spirit.

Today's Prayer

Father, we confess that we have allowed petty differences, racial prejudices, tribal conflicts, and regional rivalries to inflict wounds on the body of Christ. We ask — I ask personally — that your Holy Spirit work in each of our hearts to tear down these barriers and help us welcome and cherish each other based on our allegiance to Jesus as Lord and on the presence of your Spirit within us. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Illustration

Illustration of Romans 2:28-29 ESV —  His praise is not from man but from God.

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About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.