Monday, October 17, 2011

October 18, 2011

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26

When God brings restoration, He doesn't stopwith the cleansing pat. He doesn't just remove our sins; He also heals and reives. He performs radical surgery on us, enabling His people to live in obedience to His Word. He gives us a "new heart" removing our "heart of stne" and giving us a "heart of flesh" - a heart that's alive and healthy and thriving.

The heart is not just one individual part of a person's makeup. It repesents our total personality. We use the term heart to refer to our mind, will and emotions. In the Bible it stands for the seat of our personality.

Jesus, you may remember, called the scribes and pharisees "'hypocrites'" because they honored Him with their lips "'but their heart is far from Me'" (Matthew 15:7-8 quoting Isaiah 29:13). These men, unrivaled in their obsession with ceremonial purty, were greatly offended. Christ's disciples, too, appeared somewhat shcoked by His implication. Didn't Jesus know that these mn had every appearance of holiness and uprightness? Yes, but Jesus kne more.He knew their evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies." (Matt. 15:19) and al the rest, and He knew from where these secret sins came. "From the heart" come the things that define a person. Our hearts tell us who we really are.

Israel's heart had become fossilized, like a stone, unfeeling and unresponsive. But God promised to do for them what they could not do or themselves. He would give hem a heart of flesh, a heat He could mold and move and fashion, a heart that cold hear Hi Word and react in obedience.

Will you pray this prayer that the Psalmist prayed?

"Search me, God, and know 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." Psalms 139: 23-24

October 17, 2011

EKG Devotionals Day 16

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols."  Ezekiel 36:25

It's not enough for you to be rescued from your sins, to be pulled from harm's way and returned to safety. You must also be removed.

The promise of restoration comes hand in hand with amoral and spiritual change of heart. So God told His people Israel that they must be purified from the filthy buildup caused by their rebellion and idolatry. Ezekiel used the terminology of sprinkling with clean water, a reference to a temple reitual that symbolized spiritual uncleanness from the people. But this cleansing is much more that a "lick and a promise" you give yourself.

God's demands for holiness and purity have not changed since Ezekiel spoke these words. If you desire restoration today in your life and church, you must also allow the Father to cleanse you from your filthiness.

Study after study has indicated that the lifestyles chosen by many believers are much more like the world that like the Kingdom of God. Compromise with sin and worldly values has significantly dimished the impact of the witness of the Kingdom. It seems the Church today is in desparate need of this cleansing of heart and mind. The formula has never changed - never will, you must turn from your wickedness in true humility and allow God's Word to purify you. Just as Jesus asked the Father to sanctify the disciples with the truth of His Word (John 17:17), you too must seek the deep cleansing of God - if you are serious about being a Kingdom person.