I'm God's Favorite

Sun, Feb 25, 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) 'God Bless You' says an anonymous stranger after I blew out a thunderous sneeze. It's a weird custom, but in polite company you hear it still uttered. Did you know it has odd, even superstitious origins? In the Middle Ages people had a much more active view of the supernatural world. For some reason, it was believed that a sneeze represented a demonic assault on an individual. (It probably started when someone thought they were cursed for having hay-fever.) The only way to ward off that spirit was with a specially uttered and timely blessing. Thus a custom was born. We might think this is a silly defense to a supernatural onslaught, but we also think other things will shield us from God's wrath. If we go to church, or have a quiet time, or study our Bible, then God will love us. Paul wants to bust through these superstitions as he addresses religious Jews that believe their position and customs will give them a favored status. Take some time to read through Romans 2 and consider why God should shield you from his wrath. What is your defense?
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