Best of Daily Reflections: Do You Wish You Had a New Heart?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one.

Ezekiel 36:26

Do you ever wish you had a new heart? I'm not asking about a physical heart, but a new way of being on the inside. Do you wish you could think, feel, and choose differently? Do you get tired of being tempted by the same sinful desires, thinking in the same mistaken ways, and willing to do what you know to be wrong? If so, then you probably do wish you had a new heart.

In Hebrew, the heart is not just the place where we feel emotions. It is the center of our interior life, the place of thinking and willing, as well as feeling. The spirit is that which animates us, giving us life and vitality. Thus, when God promises to give his people a new heart and a new spirit, he is talking about profound and pervasive inner transformation.

To be sure, the people of Israel needed this kind of heart transplant. For centuries, they had rejected God and his ways, to the point that their hearts had become hard as rock. They couldn't help but resist God because they had so steadfastly pushed him away.

Yet God is in the heart renewal business. Even with those who intentionally and consistently reject him, God intends to renew them inside out, to remove their stony heart and replace it with a living one. This new heart will yearn for the Lord and his ways. It will seek the truth and choose to walk in it.

God is still in the heart renewal business. In this day, new hearts come as we put our trust in Christ, thus receiving the healing, life-giving presence of God's Spirit. Yes, there will be times when the remnant of sin entices our hearts, times when we turn away from God. Yet if our hearts belong to him through Christ, God will not let go of us. He will continue to work away in us, helping us to live each day with renewed hearts.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways have you experienced the Lord giving you a new heart? In what ways is your heart still in need of further renewal?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, how I thank you for being in the heart renewal business. I thank you for promising to give your people a new heart and a new spirit. And I thank you for doing this very thing in me.

I believe, Lord, that I am a new creation in Christ. The old has indeed passed away. Yet, a remnant of the old remains in and around me as I await the fullness of your kingdom. So I ask you to continue to renew my heart. Where there is any bit of hardness, soften it. Where I am still inclined to resist you, help me to open my heart to you.

All praise be to you, O God, giver of new hearts! Amen.