“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.
Related upcoming events
03/03/2024 - 04/03/2024 All day
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!