Devotions for June 15, 2016

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Romans 4:7-15 (MSG)

“Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”
9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles?[b] Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. 10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS

Q: What is the significance of God making Abraham right with Him long before Abraham was circumcised?

Q: Nowadays, circumcision is not the marker of God’s people; instead, what should mark your faith-journey like Abraham’s?

Q: What kind of faith is your life proclaiming to others: a trust in religious acts or a trust in God’s righteousness and promises?

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