“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).
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 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.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!