Day 19: A New Heart

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed,

and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die...?

Ezekiel 18:31, NIV 


Do you remember those magic erase boards you had as a kid? You know the ones - they consisted of a heavy cellophane-like sheet over a black, waxy background. You wrote or drew anything you wanted on top of the cellophane with a stylus and if you didn't like what you made - rip, snap - you could lift that sheet and start all over. Now, I realize that this doesn't sound very sophisticated in our modern age of electronics, but they were the cutting edge of technology and all the rage when I was a kid!


Why was that? It's because everyone loves a fresh start! Wouldn't it be nice if we had the spiritual equivalent of those erase boards that bygone era for our souls? Wouldn't it be nice if we could somehow make up for all of our past mistakes and start anew with God? The fact is we can! Furthermore, people have always had this option of starting over - they just had to actually do it! You see, God loves His children! I realize that we shouldn't even have to point this out, but many people have the wrong impression about God: They actually think that God wants them to go to hell and be lost for all eternity! But this is ridiculous!


You want proof? It's found everywhere you turn in Scripture! Whether it's the passage in Ezekiel 18 that you read above, or the John 3:16 passages you know by heart, you see over and over in the Bible that God loves His children and wants them to be with Him forever. The problem is that sin separates us from God so that we end up being apart from Him - but this condition does not have to be permanent unless we choose for it to be so. 


That's what the passage above teaches us! Though at this time Israel had committed almost unspeakable sin, God still gave them an opportunity to come back to Him and begin afresh. But it had the same condition that God has placed upon all of His beloved children through all of the ages: They had to repent! Here is the above passage in it's entirety:


Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one, according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Repent! Turn from all you offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed and

get a new heart and a new spirit.

Why will you die, O house of Israel?

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Repent and live!

Ezekiel 18:30-32, NIV


Today is day 19 of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of the prophets of God, with Ezekiel 11-20 being the reading for today. May God richly bless you as you seek to live life with a new heart and a new spirit!