A New Heart
Today’s reading: Ezekiel 11:1-14:11
My selection: Ezekiel 11:19-20
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
My reflections: The problem with the people of Israel was their hearts. They could go through the outward motions of sincere religion, but their hearts were hardened like stone. Their elders had taken their idols into their hearts yet still presumed to get guidance from the Lord through the prophet (Ezekiel 14:3). You could say their hearts were divided and hardened. Only God could give them a undivided heart and a new spirit. Only God could change their hearts from stone to flesh. That is precisely what He promised to do. The result would be that they would walk in His statutes and obediently keep His rules. They would be His people and He would be their God. God still makes this same change through His Holy Spirit when He regenerates unbelievers today (Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:1-8).
I am indebted to Pastor Fred Greco for keeping this great quote by JC Ryle before us on his email signature:
“The heart is the main thing in true religion…It is the hinge and turning-point in the condition of man’s soul. If the heart is alive to God and quickened by the Spirit, the man is a living Christian. If the heart is dead and has not the Spirit, the man is dead before God.”
My challenge: Beware of the condition of your heart. Pray that God may put within you and keep within you a heart that is tender and eager to obey Him.
Tomorrow’s reading: Ezekiel 14:12-16:63