Wednesday, March 15, 2017
A New Heart
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
The peoples’ hearts had become like stone. They were rigid and inflexible when it came to their relationship with God. Nothing came out of a passion for the Lord, but rather out of strict and possibly, reluctant obedience. The prophecy was about a future time in which all of that would change. A heart-transplant, so to speak, would occur. A new heart and a new spirit would change everything. The motivations and the desires of the heart would be for the things of God, because the spirit of God will have brought new life. The result would be a fresh new heart capable of falling in love with a holy God.
It’s time for all of us to fall in love with Jesus. Our spiritual life isn’t supposed to be something rigid or difficult, but it’s supposed to be a relationship in which we continually draw closer to our Lord. There should be no stoniness about it — no rigidity. Instead, we are to be overcome with holy love which begins to infuse us and bring new life.
It’s so easy to become rigid about things that we may define as spiritual. Jesus was continually pushing the boundaries and trying to help the religious leaders see beyond the bounds of their religious laws. They were inflexible and even willing for people to suffer for the sake of the law. (For example not wanting Jesus to heal on the Sabbath) Jesus was ushering in a new era in which the law would be fulfilled by the presence of the Spirit in the hearts and lives of believers. Instead of suffering under the rigidity of following a list of rules, the love of God was to flow out of their hearts as they desired to know Christ. The result was a holiness much more profound than they had experienced by simply living under the law. The holiness of the disciples after the day of Pentecost was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. They were participating in the powerful work of Jesus through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
A new heart awaits all of those who call upon Jesus. The empowering of the Holy Spirit transforms and fills us with holy love and a desire for the things of God.
Lord, I pray that your presence fills me to overflowing today and that my heart is filled with your love. Amen.