Genesis 17-When God Changes Your Name

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Genesis 17
When God changes your name!!!
You see often God has to wait until we are ready, before he moves in our situation. Until HE alone receives the Glory…not us! Abram had waited on God a long time. Calculate his age from the time God first spoke to him, until this time…24 years had passed!
Remember where you were 24 years ago? What you were doing? Where your life was headed?
Abram was not a perfect man, but he was faithful. it was his faith in God, not his actions that made him blameless before God. Abram knew that without God he was nothing!
Abram may have messed up with Hagar, but did you notice that even though Abram was guilty of not being obedient to God, God never said, “You messed up big time Abram.”No God had made a promise to Abram despite his sinning. God has also made a promise to us as believers, that if we believe in His Son Jesus we shall be saved.
Then God changes his name. Look at the meaning of Abram and Abraham. God didn’t change Abrams name because he was perfect, it was because he was faithful!!! God makes all things new/. We don’t have to be perfect before God can use us…before we go to church…before we are used in the ministry. We just have to be ready and faithful!
Then God makes a covenant with Abram requiring the circumcision of all males
Circumcision was not only a shedding of the old flesh, but also a shedding of the old man.
Before this time, Abraham was like all other men in sense, and there had to be a symbol of the separation from the world and a clinging to the Lord and His covenant.
• Romans 2:25-29 (NLT) 25 The Jewish ceremony of circumcision is worth something only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. 26 And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God give them all the rights and honors of being his own people? 27 In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will be much better off than you Jews who are circumcised and know so much about God’s law but don’t obey it.
28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from God, not from people.
Abraham believed God and had changed. With the change and God’s instruction to be separate from the world came the symbolism of circumcision. What shows your separation from the world? Can people tell there is a difference in you…or do you still do the old stuff you use to do?
• Col 2:11 (NLT) When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure–the cutting away of your sinful nature.
Flesh is a symbol of sin and circumcision is a symbol of removing sin from your life.
Is there anything that you still need to circumcise that ties you to the world?

Stephanie

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