A Prayer for What Counts
By Meg Bucher
“It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.” - Galatians 6:15 NLT
Unworthiness is an epidemic. In a world bent on “self,” there are so many lost in search of themselves. Anxiety and depression are sky-high. We weren’t meant to live for ourselves but for something so much greater. Someone so much greater. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he addresses one behavior out of a million ways in which people try to gain favor in life. If only we accomplish the next goal or reach the next level. But unworthiness is quick to remind us …it’s never enough. So, what is?
Circumcision was a ceremonial process God’s Old Testament people participated in out of obedience. “In the Bible this word is used both literally and figuratively,” Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary explains, “Uncircumcision represented unbelief and disobedient to the covenant of God.” Paul used an extreme example that would be familiar to all parties involved in the conversation: Jews and Gentiles. Both people groups were having a hard time accepting the fact Jesus came to free and save all of them. The VOICE paraphrase reads:
“Let me be clear: circumcision won’t save you- uncircumcision won’t either for that matter - both amount to nothing. God’s new creation is what counts, and it counts for everything.”
God’s people struggled to understand their unworthiness. Circumcised or not, they were all unworthy without the sacrificial blood of Christ Jesus, as are we today. “Paul asserted that mere externals- circumcision or the lack thereof- mean nothing. Instead, for Paul, the cross- a shameful means of torture and execution- was a cause for boasting,” Moody Bible Commentary explains, “It brought two things: a decisive break from worldly perspectives (world …crucified to me) and real spiritual life (new creation).” The inner change is more important than the outer changes in our behavior. Ceremonial or not, we all wake up each morning the same sinners we were when we laid our heads down to sleep. The difference for those living in the love of Christ Jesus is the new mercy we receive every day from the Lord through Him. The change on the inside affects what others see from the outside.
Through Christ, we find our sense of worth. The purpose God built into the fabric of who we are When we stay in touch with our Creator, we see and understand everything around us from a fresh, godly perspective. Everything changes from the inside out.
Let’s pray today not to get caught up in what we do or do not do but to focus on who we are in Christ Jesus.
Today we pray for a fresh perspective. Help us to see life through Your eyes, Father. Your creation is good! Yet, in a world surrounded by so much wrong and tainted with sin and evil, it can be hard to see. Continue to change us from the inside out, God. Show us what really matters. Help us to let go of what does not. Bless our lives with the eternal purpose You created us to walk out. Let us not be distracted by the enemy or entertain any lies of unworthiness. Every human being on this earth is loved. No one is an accident. You love all of us and are faithful to meet us right where we are at. There is no need to do anything to gain Your love, Father. Please, for anyone who does not know how loved they are by You or does not know who Jesus is …let today be the day everything changes …from the inside out.
In Jesus’ Name,
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Copyright 1987, 2011 by Zondervan
Moody Bible Commentary. Copyright 2014, Moody Publishers.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion (October 2023 release). She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team as the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com. Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls.
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Originally published Sunday, 17 September 2023.