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A fatally serious problem such as a dead, stony heart requires some serious intervention. And just as expected, we discover God had something big in mind from the very beginning. He first mentioned it in the brief, mysterious prophecy of Genesis 3:15, but began to unfold it much more clearly in the time of the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel lived in an age of rampant wickedness, even among his own countrymen. So spiritually dark had the little Hebrew kingdom grown that God announced He was about to destroy the nation through the vicious army of Babylon. There would be no escape, no reprieve. And yet, out of the gloom, a bright ray of hope broke through. Out of His own overflowing love, God promised His people something new:

“I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:19-20).

The hearts of many of us have grown so hard against God that they’ve become like stone—untouchable, unmovable, without compassion. We have become so set in our sinful ways that we have no intention of changing for anyone. We greet all of God’s pleadings and entreaties with stony resistance.

Hearts of stone!

But God said He would exchange those stony hearts for hearts of flesh; soft and pliable hearts that could at last respond to God with all the love and devotion that He had designed for them. Just before Ezekiel began his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah prophesied of the day when God would no longer write His Law on tablets of stone, as He did with Moses, but upon the fleshly tablets of a man’s heart. “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts,” God said, “and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8:7-13).

You see what God is really looking for; don’t you? He wants a meaningful, loving relationship with you. God doesn’t want a legal relationship with you. He has no interest in binding you to Himself through laws. He doesn’t want to chain you up. No! He wants a close relationship with you based upon love. He doesn’t want some outside law to force you to obey Him; He wants your love for Him to prompt your obedience.

– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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