Friday, December 6, 2019

A Stone Heart

The prophet Ezekiel spoke of the unbelieving Hebrews saying that God would change their hearts of stone or unfeeling and carnal, selfish and uncaring and put in them new hearts of flesh, meaning tender, or single and one purpose and not wavering or divided. God will put a new spirit within us if we turn from sin and choose to live for Christ. He will make us a new person, throwing away the old. Let the sinner know he needs a change. “I am the captain of my ship” will sink you. Now you may say that doesn’t make sense. “I’ll do it my way” would be another way to say it. The self-confident, arrogant and selfish will perish. Our sins will sink us. So, what do we do?

Turn your ship around; ground it if necessary like Paul’s ship in Acts 27. Then you will live and not die. It is all about our hearts or soul and spirit.  Jeremiah tells us that, “The heart is deceitful above all things (all cure), who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9). This is a great condemnation of the human heart in its natural state-incurable.  Ezekiel 11:19-20 states the cure, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new heart within them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people and I will be their God.”  There is a lot said in this short passage. God is saying that man has a heart of stone. Now that is hard, right? Yes, it is impervious and not able to take in God. It is selfish, lustful, divided and beating to it’s own drummer, other than God. What does God require of us? He requires as Psalm 51 tells us a “pure heart” and He requires a “contrite and broken heart.” David understood this principle of life. Although he “was the man after God’s own heart,” he had sinned and knew that he needed God to “Search (him)me and know (his) my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Proverbs 27:19 tells us that a man’s heart reflects the man. So what do we do?

David and Aleph as Psalmists knew the way saying, “I seek you with all my heart”  (Psalm 119:10) and “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws” (Psalm 119:30); “I have hidden your word in my heart”  (Psalm 119:11). Clearly we need to seek after God and His word for truth and life. Jesus Christ say, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me”  (John 14:6). There it is, Jesus is the only name under heaven by which men may be saved. We must confess our hard and sinful hearts- every one of us, and seek to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord of our lives. Only He can grant us forgiveness and lead us through His Holy Spirit in the “most excellent way.”

I have written a book based on Isaiah 30:21, a verse audibly spoken by God to me, “Whether you turn to the right or the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it.”  What is the way? It is the way of Christ. In two volumes I tell what that means. It is not an easy walk, but one full of steep hills and twisting trails. But God will guide us toward the truth. Get a new heart and you will be able to follow Him with a “Cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:19). Do you have a new heart?

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