Friday, July 04, 2014

July 4 - An Undivided Heart

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 10:1-11:25
Matthew 10:1-23
Proverbs 12:8-17
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Ezekiel 11:17-20
17 "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.' 18 "They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God."

Because of the sin and rebellion of his people, God withdrew his glorious presence from their temple and handed them over to captivity and exile. Even as this was happening, God gave Ezekiel a vision of restoration and a new and better relationship with his people.

God says he will gather up his people and give them a new spirit. Their heart of stone would one day be replaced with a heart of flesh. Instead of a hardhearted nation that needed the law to restrain them, they would become a softhearted people with a genuine love for God. Righteousness would be not the result of external rule keeping, but instead be the natural outflow of hearts shaped by God.

Response and Action:
God is drawing people to relationship with him. To those who seek him and yield themselves to him, he will give new hearts and the gift of his Spirit.

O God, give me a heart of flesh. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead me, shape me, and transform me. Help me to delight in your will and walk in your ways. Turn my heart toward you that my actions are the natural result of your shaping and renewing work in my life. Help me to be so renewed and rooted in you that I do what is right without being reminded of rules and regulations. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard

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