Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Open Heart Surgery

February 15th, 2017
Scripture: Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)

Open Heart Surgery

"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."

After the Fall of Jerusalem, the LORD assures hope for the People of Israel through the words of Ezekiel the prophet. The LORD speaks of a "spiritual operation" that He will preform as the chief surgeon. He will give His people a new heart and new spirit, replacing stone with flesh. The very core of their being will be changed from the inside-out.

  I've heard the expression used, "stone cold", as a way of saying that a person can be cruel beyond belief, or inhumane. I've also heard the phrase, "set in stone", as a way of expressing permanent action that cannot be undone. I think this is similar to the "heart of stone" that is lodged within the hearts of humanity. But I also believe that nothing or no one is beyond redemption.

God wants to give us new hearts of flesh; living tissue that matures, grows, and contains life. Just as Jesus said, "[Those who believe] have crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24). God also wants to put a new spirit inside of us: The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of His Son.

So next time you think you are too far gone, or that you won't be able to trust ever again, or you will never break the numbness you feel, just remember the Great Healer has an operating table waiting for you. All you have to do is ask God for the surgery and give Him permission to do it. It may take some time to replace that heart of stone, just like real heart surgeries take time, but the end result is always worth it!

"Lord Jesus, thank You that our hearts can be mended, repaired, and ultimately replaced and renewed. I give You full permission to work on my heart, so I can be filled with love and new life. In Your Holy Name, Amen."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Root Source

February 1st 2017
Scripture: John 15:5 (NIV)

Root Source

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Here Jesus is speaking to his disciples in the upper room; the closing moments before his betrayal in the Garden. In this chapter, Jesus gives his disciples some last thoughts. He starts by telling them they are "branches" that grow from "the vine". He is the source that brings them life; and there are serious repercussions if they do not remain in him.
Image result for Vines 
As a Christian, it is important to realize the "root source" of my partnership with God. When I remain with Jesus, allowing him to be at the center of my life, I can do much fruit-bearing in the spiritual realm. 

But the moment I step away from the life-giving relationship, I lose any and all gains for God's Kingdom, because apart from Jesus I can do absolutely NOTHING; which is a much different story than, "I can do all things <through Christ>"(Phil. 4:13). I sometimes forget to include that the source of my strength is not "will power" or "self-help" but "Christ's help" and "His power."

"Lord Jesus, I thank You that I can bear spiritual fruit for Your kingdom. Help me to remain in You, and keep You at the root of my ministry. I can do nothing without You. Amen."