Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. -Proverbs 4:23
During the early 1970s in Ghana, a poster titled "The Heart of Man" appeared on walls and public notice boards. In one picture, all kinds of reptiles-symbols of the vile and despicable-filled the heart-shaped painting with the head of a very unhappy man on top of it. In another image, the heart-shape was clean and serene with the head of a contented man. The caption beneath the images read: "What is the condition of your heart?"
In Matthew 15:18-19, Jesus explained what pollutes a person. "The things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (NIV). That is the condition of a heart separated from God-the situation ancient Israelites found themselves in when their sins forced them into exile (Ezekiel 36:23).
God's promise in Ezekiel 36:26 is beautiful: "I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart" (NLT; see also 11:19). God will take away our stubborn hearts that have been corrupted by all kinds of evil and give to us a clean heart that is responsive to Him. Praise God for such a wonderful gift.
Prayer for Today
Father in heaven, thank You that when we confess our sin to You, You give us a new heart and a new life. I pray that the life I live reflects the goodness of Your gift and that others may see the difference a new heart has made in me. Amen.