How is your heart

Some time ago I was given a gift, a heart made from clay, and this set me thinking about the phrase “a new heart”. I remembered the  Bible verse which speaks about the Lord giving a new heart. This verse is in  book of Ezekiel chapter 36 verse 27:

“A new heart also I will give you and, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh”

Ezekiel was a prophet who brought Gods word and instructions to His chosen people Israel way back in history some several hundred years before Jesus was born. Ezekiel wrote under the inspiration of God telling them the things that God would do with, and for the people of Israel.

The people of Israel had been separated from the land where they had lived. They had been invaded and many taken away as captive slaves to Babylon as a consequence of not living Gods way. Ezekiel describes how God will sanctify His name which had been dishonoured by His people and how He will change and cleanse the people. He will give them a new heart and they will follow His laws and statutes. In other words they would live in God’s way again.

We know from the historical accounts that Israel as a people did return to the land and were restored and a greater fulfilment of this is still to come.  

This verse and the verses around it give a picture, a representation of what a Christian is, a person with a new heart, a new purpose in life, who lives God’s way, a person God has cleansed  through the cross of Jesus. This verse describes the heart of a Christian, a new heart not hard like a stone but a heart that can feel, a heart that is alive. 

An African Christian and a missionary were travelling together, the African turned and asked in the usual direct African fashion “How is your heart?” What he meant was, how is your spiritual heart. Can I ask the same question of you… how is your heart? Is it still the same heart, a heart that can feel, the heart the Lord gave when you became a Christian? Or has your heart become a little hard and embittered from rubbing against the world. The worlds view is different from Gods view, the world’s way is different from God’s way and sometimes we absorb some of the world’s ways. We can become cynical and hard. Have our hearts become hardened again.

From time to time we need to think about the state of our heart before God. We need to reflect in the light of scripture on how our heart stands before God. Read the verses in Ezekiel be thankful for all God has done for you, look at  how you can serve Him, pray that God will already be softening the hard hearts of people who are going to hear God’s word as we go forward at Carley over the next few years.

Chris Baines

 

 

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