ESOCS Devotional 27 November 2022
TEXT: EZEKIEL 18:1-32
MEMORY VERSE: “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezekiel 18:31 & 32
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
The main issue in our spiritual battle against sin and Satan is the need for us to have a new heart and a new spirit. David realized this essential need only after his big fall into sin; and that was the reason he prayed God and said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). He fell into the terrible sins of covetousness, adultery, and murder because he possessed a heart that was spiritually dirty (2 Sam. 11:14-17; 12:1-9). This is the heart that has the nature and likeness of Adam in it. Such a heart is filled with all kinds of sins and things that make it impossible for us to live a clean and holy life.
Many people are like David. They realize that they need a new heart and a new spirit only after they had offended God. But it should not be so. This is like putting the cart before the horse, as people say. It should be the other way round. If we get ourselves a new heart and a new spirit, we would not fall into sin. We should desire them daily as long as we live. We should have in us the hunger for uprightness and integrity. Everything about us should reflect the life of Christ. A new heart and a new spirit would make us live like Him. They would help us build integrity and uprightness in us. With them, we would be able to pursue a life standard that seeks virtue. Such a quality of life would enable us keep ourselves holy, and from doing evil and other things that God hates. We would have the heart, mind, and Spirit of Christ. Let us crave to have such qualities in us. They would enable us to live an excellent lifestyle.
God has said, “…The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4); there is a spiritual death, which is separation from God (Rev. 3:1); and there is physical death, like the death of Lazarus (John 11:44). But God does not have any pleasure in the death of a sinner, whether spiritual or physical. Rather, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15). His will is that the person who lives a life of sin should change and begin to do things that are good in His sight. He said, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies … Therefore turn and live!” (v 32). 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord … [has] longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” He wants us to have a heart and spirit that fit. Such would make us obedient to His will and commandments; and He would hear us when we pray. For “… we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31).
God is calling us to true repentance. We should turn to Him with an honest heart. He searches the heart to know those who are genuine in worshiping Him. Only the true worshipers are acceptable to Him (John 4:23, 24).
- Search your heart to find out if there is genuine repentance in it.
- Pray fervently that God may circumcise your heart and give you a new heart.
- Pray that God may renew a right spirit within you.
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ESOCS Devotional 27 November 2022