Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Beginnings (Part 11)
Your New Heart
I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)
Since the fall of Adam, mankind has suffered from spiritual heart disease: an inherent impurity that infects our quality of life. 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?' (Jeremiah 17:9). 'We are all as an unclean thing' (Isaiah 64:6). 'Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins' (Ecclesiastes 7:20).*
God, Who 'Looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7), is the ultimate Cardiologist. He describes our unhealthy hearts as stony, evil, hard, half, dull, dark, deceitful, foolish, crooked, wandering and impenitent. By means of the prophet Ezekiel, He announced a transplant operation: 'I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh' (Ezekiel 36:26). His people would become compassionate.**
Years later, when an old-school teacher named Nicodemus visited the new-way Teacher named Jesus, He announced a new heart procedure: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God' (John 3:3). Even so, this regeneration requires an ongoing connection to its Source: 'Give us this day our daily' communion. Consider it spiritual dialysis.***
'If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:7-9).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As new creations in Christ and new stars in media, notice one important truth and three daily prescriptions in 1 John 1:7-9. Consider them essential for the maintenance of clean hearts in a dirty world:
One important truth: Even when we're born-again, we sin. Christians who put on airs of perfection soon stink. Because 'Holier than thou' (Isaiah 65:5) cologne is a bad odor. Instead of attracting outsiders, it deters them. So remember, transformation is a process. The Blood of Jesus 'cleanses' us. It's a present tense verb. We must stay connected to Jesus to stay clean.
Three daily prescriptions for the maintenance of healthy hearts:
1) 'Walk in the light' like Jesus. Avoid secrets. Be transparent. Stay active. Be seen.
2) 'Have fellowship with one another.' Stay connected to your family in Christ, for encouragement and accountability.
3) When you mess up, fess up: Confess your sins to God, then to each other.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion Series on Heart Conditions: http://amtcdevotions.org/heart-conditions-part-1-gods-1-priority
* 100 Bible Verses about heart: http://www.openbible.info/topics/heart
** 'We love others, we love everybody, we love our enemies, because He first loved us... And that is how the love of God melts down the unlovely heart in man, and begets in him the new creature, who is patient and humble and gentle and unselfish' (Quote is backwards, first part is 'And that is how the love of God' followed by 'we love others, we love everybody')(Henry Drummond): http://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/drummond/love_begets_love_2.htm
*** See the Lord's Prayer: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+6%3A9-13&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beginnings series. To read similar devotions, please see the All Things New series.