13th August 2017

A New Heart, A New Hope 

“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.”
Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV UK) 

John Bell had a chance to do something most of us, let’s hope, will never be able to do: he held his own heart in his hands. Bell had undergone a successful heart transplant two years earlier, and now, through a programme called Heart-to-Heart at Dallas’s Baylor University Medical Centre, he was able to hold the organ which had kept him alive for seventy years before it had been replaced. This amazing story reminded me of another heart transplant—my own. And while I haven’t undergone a ‘physical’ heart transplant, all of us who follow Christ have experienced a spiritual version of this process. The cruel reality of our sinful nature is that it can only end in spiritual death. The prophet Jeremiah words it clearly: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9).

When faced with the reality of our spiritual ‘heart condition’ it can be hard to have hope. Because, on our own, the chances of survival is zero. But, amazingly for us, Jesus Christ offers us the only possible chance at spiritual life—a heart transplant at the core of our very being. The Apostle Paul refers to this freely-given gift of Christ as the regeneration of our humanity, the renewal our human natures, the transformation of our minds and the liberation of our wills. All this is what is involved in God’s saving work through the eternal Son through the Holy Spirit. Through that all-encompassing salvation, we’re offered the miraculous opportunity to exchange our old, dead heart for his new, healthy one—a heart overflowing with his love and everlasting life. Paul tells us: “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:6–8).

God has accomplished a miraculous exchange in Christ so that we might live a new life in Him, sharing in his own fellowship and communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Let’s remember that each day we live is only by the grace and mercy of the one who has called us to him—our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 

Prayer
Holy Father, at times we really are our own worst enemies. All the promises you have made to us, including those concerning our wondrous future with you in your kingdom, at times seem as nothing because of who we are and what we are. Help us to embrace the idea of change, of exchanging what we are for what you would have us be. And this we ask in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach

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About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

Summer Educational Programme
SEP has just finished and the work of taking down the camp and clearing up is under way. S.E.P. is a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths. For more information about S.E.P. visit www.sepuk.org