Circumcised Hearts and Ears

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. Our time was wonderful! We spent time with family. We put up our tree and all the Christmas decorations. We went to the movie theater. Let’s not look beyond the present moment that God has given us with family and friends. It’s a wonderful blessing.

Sunday we wrapped up the book of Acts for the rest of the year (to resume the beginning of January) by looking at Acts 7 where Stephen is martyred after indicting the religious leaders of the day for their hardness of heart to what God was doing in Christ.

Some of his most cutting words are in 7:51 where he says, 
“”You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you…””

His point is simple. Stephen does not want these leaders to think that their external religion is enough. How is anything that they have done for God legitimate if they rejected and murdered the Son of God? What Stephen is saying is that from the beginning chapters of Genesis with the story of Abraham, God is setting apart a people for Himself that will love him with their hearts and eagerly hear and embrace His truth through the revelation of Jesus. It doesn’t matter if you were raised in the church, if you give a lot of money, if you serve and participate in different church initiatives, the question remains, “Do you love Him? Is there heart affections present?” Stephen is calling us to a heart devotion of God in Christ. Look at Him and be amazed by Him. Embrace Him. Intently listen to Him through the Word and Spirit and follow Him. Give your life for Him because He is the substance of your life. Is this the kind of Christianity that you have embraced?

Starting this upcoming Sunday, we will begin a journey where we loosely follow the church calendar through the end of May. This Sunday, we will begin a sermon series in the book of Ruth where we build anticipation for the celebration of Christmas at the end of December. I am so excited for us to take 4 weeks to look at Ruth. I think you will be surprised at how much you need Ruth and its theology in your life and heart.

As we study Ruth for Advent, we have also put together an Advent Reading Plan to help you as we teach through this book. The reading plan started on November 26 so make sure to go ahead and start it so you do not get too far behind!

Finally, I want to encourage you to join us on Sunday throughout the month of December for a special class we are offering to our church on “How to Study/Read the Bible." (Click the Link to Sign up!). Many have asked for this class and we are excited to engage our church in this way. We are also going to be providing childcare so that you will be able to focus during the class. I hope you can make it.

In Christ,

Alex Gailey

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