posted by Stephen Viljoen
"26And I will give youA)">(A) a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27B)">(B) And I will put my Spirit within you,C)">(C) and cause you to walk in my statutes andD)">(D) be careful to obey my rules.a]">[a] 28E)">(E)You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, andF)">(F) you shall be my people, and I will be your God."
I love this idea. That God has replaced my heart of stone for a flesh and blood, live, flourishing heart. He took what was once dead and gave it life through Christ.
I have a somewhat typical story for a Bible-belt evangelical twenty-something…grew up in church and walked down the aisle at 7 years old, recanted a prayer, went to camps, youth group, Sunday school, even Sunday night; I played the religious game, and I played it very, very well
Somehow I had convinced myself of my salvation based on what I had done rather than what Jesus had done...and somehow I was still able to sin…vigorously, all the while believing I had done the necessary deeds to be considered a "good person".
And yet, in the midst of all that sin and debauchery some five years ago, God so violently and abruptly interrupted my life, and my plans, and my desires over the course of a few months that this verse makes complete sense to me.
People resonate with this idea, that something is broken and in need of restoration. They just look to the wrong places for that restoration; entertainment, substances, people, the list goes on and on…essentially people are looking for restoration in all the wrong places.
In what ways has God restored your heart? Do people know what you were like before Jesus? If not, I would urge you to bring that up in normal conversation…how at your darkest, most disgusting hour Jesus revealed Himself to you, changed your heart and restored you into a right relationship with God!
So here's my question: How do we deliver the message of restoration to those that God has providentially placed around us?
This week I will be praying for restoration in my own heart as well as for those who happen to read this...God Bless!