Week 29: A New Heart

Week 29: A New Heart

Today’s Text: Ezekiel 31-36

Key Text: Ezekiel 36:26-27

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.”

Time and again in the Scriptures God called great prophets to warn the people, chastise them, and call them into a new way of life. Sometimes they listened – many times they did not.

Then Jesus came on the scene – and again – he called them to follow Him as the “Way” and the “Truth” and the “Life.” Some listened – many did not.

Spiritual growth and renewal is something we desperately need, but only sometimes do we recognize the need for it.

Still, God’s patience is deep, God’s love is wide, and God’s grace is full.

So He is faithful – and does a great work of love – time and again.

When God does this – He literally gives us a new “heart” and a new “spirit.”

One commentator calls this “spiritual regeneration.”

Are you in need of a fresh heart? Are you in need of a fresh spirit?

God can provide it.

But you have to turn to Him and seek it – God does not force it upon us.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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