3rd December 2012

A New Heart

“I will give you a new heart—I will give you new and right desires—and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love.”
Ezekiel 36:26 (The Living Bible)

On December 3rd, 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, a South African surgeon, performed the first human heart transplant in medical history.  Shortly after his second successful transplant, he appeared beside the bed of the patient with his old heart in a plastic container and declared, “Do you realise that you are the first man in history to look at his own dead heart?” Sadly, for this to happen someone has to die and the heart of that person is used as a replacement for a heart that is dying.

Something similar happened when God, who so loved the world that he “gave his only begotten Son” to replace our sinful, stony hearts with a heart of love. A heart of flesh and not of stone, which is the basis of the new covenant that God has made through Jesus Christ, who died to make it possible!

God has been doing heart transplants ever since the human race became afflicted with that fatal heart disease called sin. “‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ says the Lord: ‘I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,’”  He also adds, “‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.'” (Hebrews 10:16-17 NRSV). And when we allow this spiritual operation to take place, new desires, a new spirit, a new way of thinking is implanted within us. A heart that is filled with love, compassion, mercy, and kindness; a heart that beats to a different rhythm as the Holy Spirit enters it and we cry—“Abba! Father!” Then God’s love is poured into our new hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 8:15 and Romans 5:5 NRSV).

At this point I’m wondering how shocked I would be if like Dr. Barnard’s patient I could actually see my old dead heart and notice the blackness, see the tough leathery flesh that looks almost like flint. I suspect there’s a possibility that I would be physically sick, but I’m sure I would also be pouring out thanks for this new covenant, this new relationship with the Living God whom we can call Abba! Father!

Abba Father, praise and glory to you for your amazing plan of salvation for all humanity. Help us treasure the new hearts you’ve given us in love through Jesus Christ your Son.

Study by Cliff Neill

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