Both sides of the coin…
Deuteronomy 10:16-19 (KJV)
16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
This message asks if repentance, once attempted is permanent or possibly temporary. The above scripture is speaking to the carnally minded, those of us that know we are unsure of our conversion. It tells us that the benefits of being right with God are realized when we “circumcise our hearts, when we allow ourselves to change, stubbornness dissipates; we are no longer “stiff-necked.” Why or how does this transformation happen? Because God is reliable, trustworthy, strong in character, and a complete provider therefore we are commanded to emulate His character by living according to His example. Every time we repent from old worldly behavior we transcend hard hearted decisions and stiff-necked resolutions and begin to minister to the fatherless, the widow and the stranger just as the Christ came to see about us!
The writer calls us “stiff-necked,” because we are stubborn and unwilling to change our direction, unwilling to see things from a new perspective, consequently He is stern and likewise immutable in his admonition to us to really change! He warns us by educating us about His character, “a God of God’s…mighty and terrible,” and someone who cannot be bribed!
We must remember that we are “prepared for blessings” and for likewise blessing those in need (fatherless and widows). Romans 2:29 says, “No, man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God!”
This message’ significance is found in the inward parts of our being. “To Develop Our Heart’s for God” we must know the characteristics of a true believer; one who has a truly transformed heart. First our hearts must be renewed, we must repent e.g. be converted. Second we must circumcise our hearts by cutting away our old selves, our past attitudes, our old mannerisms, including people, places, and things. The old man must die, or vice versa, we die to him.
Thirdly, we must constantly guard our hearts (the center of our life) by renewing our minds daily through devotional study and prayer, which should lead to a likewise action. Fourthly, we must strengthen our spiritual life by doing Christian Work; we must learn to walk in it! And finally the ‘benefits of those with a heart that is right with God’ is that we are not without a spiritual and earthly reward, God has set aside a divine commendation, “praise is not from men, but from God!”