“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” – Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV).
When someone becomes a Christ follower, depending on culture, there are certain rituals one undertakes like water baptism to identify with Christ. In some instances there could be a change of names embracing those which are identified with Christ followers. There are those that once they have accepted Christ start to wearing crosses or badges that promote the name of Christ. We often run into cars bearing sticker for Christ. In other words one could assume many outside symbols as proof of being a follower of Christ.
But just then at the same time there are also those symbols that are not very obvious to the world. The first is change of heart. The scriptures say,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17). The significance here is that in the life of a Christ follower, it is not just outward symbols that matter but also one’s actions that stem from a changed heart, touched by the grace of God.
Ephesians 4:22-24 challenges us, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Here we see, it is not just the outward clothing that matters but a “new self” revealed in a new behavioral pattern. If a car is paraded with stickers for Christ yet the owner needlessly jumps the queue then perhaps Christ has yet to transform the driver into a new more considerate person!
The issue here is symbols or any Christian rituals may be easy to embrace but what of the heart! Today let us surrender our hearts to begin that work of transformation, which in the end could be the best proof that we are now followers of Christ.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that you renew my heart and make me a new person in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I pray.