Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Ezekiel 36:26–27

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. And I will put my Spirit in you and love
you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Scripture Insights

There is gentleness in today’s scripture. In response to a heart of stone, and the implication that we are unable to follow the decrees and laws of God, God gives. When we have a deep need for transformation, our good God gives us a new heart. When we are struggling with hardness within ourselves brought on by judgmentalism, self-righteousness, or us/them thinking, God takes that from us and gives us a heart of flesh. We are offered the gift of a new spirit. And it isn’t any old spirit—it’s God’s Spirit.

And then what does God’s Spirit do? Enables us to be who we were created to be—in right relationship with God and right relationship with ourselves and right relationship with our neighbors. After all, God’s decrees and laws are about those relationships! Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to care for the people on the margins, and we are invited by Jesus himself to love our enemies. If we lived like that, what an incredible blessing we would be to our communities.

Our giving God has a gift for us. Will we receive it?

Today’s Prayer

God, we need you. On our own, our hearts are like stone. Without your Spirit we are nothing. Heal us, fill us, and use us to bless all of our neighbors as we live graciously, gently, and generously as you do.

—Olivia Metcalf
CotN District Superintendent, Upstate New York

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